Justice Chandru to head TN govt panel to draft ordinance against online rummy

The committee was formed on June 9, in the wake of the suicide of a young Chennai-based woman who lost money in online gambling.
Justice Chandru wearing a pink shirt and facing the camera
Justice Chandru wearing a pink shirt and facing the camera
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The Tamil Nadu government has set up a committee under retired Justice K Chandru to pass an ordinance regarding online rummy, in a meeting held on Thursday, June 9. Chief Minister MK Stalin held an emergency consultation where the committee was set up, and it was asked to submit a recommendation report within two weeks. The move by the state government comes in the wake of a 29-year-old woman from Chennai, who died allegedly by suicide after losing money in online gambling.

A press release from the CM’s office states that three primary tasks have been assigned to the committee: find out the dangers of online rummy game, including loss of money and suicides; research about the impacts of the game by analysing proofs; and find out the impact of the advertisements that makes people play the game and how to control them in a proper way.

The committee is headed by retired justice K Chandru and its members consist of IIT technological expert Dr Sankarraman, founder of NGO SNEHA Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar, and Additional Director General of Police Vinit Dev Wankhede. The committee has been asked to make its recommendations within two weeks and an ordinance will be passed immediately based on that, according to the release.

Earlier, the AIADMK government had promulgated a similar ordinance to ban online gambling in 2020 but it was struck down by the Madras High Court last year. The court, while passing the order, observed that the “law was constituted poorly” and allowing it “can be seen as erratic, unreasonable and also excessive and disproportionate”.

In March this year, the state government asserted that it was committed to banning online gambling and that all efforts were being taken. State Law Minister S Regupathy also said that the AIADMK government promulgated the ordinance "in a hurry" which led the high court to strike it down. The Tamil Nadu government had also appealed to the Supreme Court in November 2021 against the Madras High Court order quashing the ban on online gambling, but it is yet to be heard.

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