The first bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Krishnakumar wondered how a stay could be granted even before the ordinance comes into force. The court, however, suggested the petitioners — Jungle Games and others — to approach the court after the effective date of the Ordinance is notified.
The petitioner-companies then requested the court to withdraw their pleas. Recording it, the court dismissed the pleas as withdrawn with liberty to approach the court after the effective date is notified.
Earlier, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Tamil Nadu government, contended that the petitioner could not challenge the Ordinance at this point, as there was no cause of action.
To this, senior advocate Aryama Sundaram, representing the petitioners, submitted that the cases could be taken up for hearing after the law came into force but till then an interim order could be passed directing the state not to take action against the gaming companies.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who also represented the petitioners, submitted that the officials were already taking action against the gaming companies.
Similarly, senior advocate Satish Parasaran said all the petitioners would become criminals when the law comes into effect. “At this stage we are not challenging the law or the Ordinance, we just want to restrain the officials from taking any action,” he said.
According to All India Gaming Federation, one among the petitioners, it has been working to ensure that online gaming was carried on in an ethical and responsible manner. All its members were required to follow a charter that permits them to offer only skill-based games and not games of chance.
This apart, the rule also mandates that the games should not be offered to those below 18 years of age and those residing outside the country. “Our members are required to inform the players about responsible gaming and warn them against the deleterious effects of gaming. We also insist on making available self-administered tests for addiction for the gamers on the online platform,” the federation said.