Kerala High Court on Wednesday issued notices to celebrities including Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, South Indian actress Tamannaah and Malayalam actor Aju Varghese in a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) seeking a ban on online rummy. The petition was filed by Polly Vadakkan, a native of Thrissur, alleging that the operation of online gambling applications was illegal.
The High Court has also issued notices to the state government and called for its response on the same. Online gambling does not fall under the purview of the Kerala Gaming Act.
The petitioner had complained to the high court that several people have lost their lives in the country after losing huge amounts of money by playing the online game and that it should be banned. The petition alleged that brand ambassadors play a significant role in getting youth addicted.
"Vineeth, 27, had committed suicide at Kuttichal in Thiruvananthapuram a fortnight ago. He had lost Rs 21 lakh. Sajesh, 32, who had lost a huge amount playing online rummy," said the petitioner Polly Vadakkan
"The intervention of the honourable High court is welcome as I know that several people have lost huge amount of money playing this online game and I myself have lost more than Rs 6 lakh," he said
"The brand ambassador's indeed play a big role in attracting the gullible youth in playing this game which soon turns into an addiction. I had to seek professional medical help to come out of this addiction and the court must ban this game in India." he added
A division bench comprising the Chief Justice also pointed out that the matter was serious. The petitioner further pointed out that other high courts have intervened to regulate such illegal games and that the Andhra Pradesh government has passed an ordinance.
Following this, the High Court then directed the state government to provide an explanation within ten days.
(with inputs from IANS)