Amar Singh raises gambling related question in Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Uttar Pradesh and former Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh had raised a starred question during the question hour.
A starred question is a question that needs to be answered on the floor itself, orally, by the questioned entity. Singh, in his question, asked the incumbent Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad to declare whether the Law Commission of India has sent a proposal to legalise gambling and betting in this country.
Singh further demanded for details of the Law Commission’s proposal and future decisions to be taken by the government on the Commission’s report. The question is scheduled to be answered by Ravi Shankar Prasad on 14th of December. Other Rajya Sabha MPs can also weigh in on the issue, ask follow-up and counter questions to the mandatory response provided by the minister.
In the recent monsoon session of Rajya Sabha, two MPs, AIADMK’s Vijila Sathyananth and Kerala Congress member Jose K. Mani had also raised similar starred questions on the floor. Due to the house not properly functioning on the day the question was asked, Prasad tabled a written response, stating that the Law Commission of India’s 276th report, called the ‘Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including Cricket in India’, which laid out recommendations on gambling and betting, are under consideration by the government.
In the same session where the two MPs asked questions, Union Minister of State for Law and Justice PP Chaudhary had answered to six Lok Sabha MPs on the Commission’s recommendations and proposals to be acted upon by the central government.
There exists a significant market in India for betting and gambling on sports like cricket (IPL), but the problem stems not from the fact that there are problem gamblers. Instead, there are no proper regulatory authorities who can oversee the entire industry, which is the accepted fate by most of the people involved. Lawmakers here have ignored the industry for too long that now it has become imperative to introduce robust measures to legalize regulated gambling and betting in India.
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