A Delhi High Court bench consisting of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan notified the Delhi government and the ministries of Finance along with Electronics and Information Technology to give their stand on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a ban on gambling and betting websites. The PIL stated that despite laws being put into place in various states that prohibited such activities, there were still websites that were accessible in India.
According to the plea, a large number of websites in India that are a platform for betting, gambling and wagering games are still operated in the country. The petition was made by Avinash Mehrotra where he stated, “although these activities are prohibited by law, they are still being carried out due to a lack of enforcement of the laws in question.”
The petition claims that the online gambling system in India is unregulated and therefore a perfect breeding ground to carry out illegal operations, money laundering, etc. Mehrotra, who claims to be a financial advisor, in his plea allegedly states that Foreign Exchange laws including Income Tax laws are also likely being violated by the online gambling websites.
Last year, he had filed a similar petition which was given to the Centre as representation, for the government to accordingly take the necessary decision. Mehtrotra claimed that he was later informed by the central government that it did not have the legislative ability to ban or block websites. He also sought recovery of taxes which were due from the people who played on these gambling and betting websites and those who operate them. He requested the central government to “charge the corrupt owners, proprietors along with the promotors of these online gambling websites, in accordance with the law.” There will be a further hearing of the matter on 19 January 2021, as listed by the court.
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