Govt has right to regulate online gaming, HC told
The Union government has the legislative competence to regulate online gaming, according to the Centre's response to a petition challenging the validity of the IT rules. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology stated that the central government has the authority to enact laws on online gaming. The petition argued that the rules exceeded the Centre's legislative competence as gambling and betting fall under the powers of the states.
The Union government has the legislative competence to regulate matters of online gaming, the Centre has told the Delhi high court.
It made the statement in response to a petition by NGO Social Organisation for Creating Humanity (SOCH) challenging the constitutional and legislative validity of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023, which aim to regulate online gaming. According to the amended rules, online gaming intermediaries are required to undertake the same due diligence procedures across India.
In an affidavit, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said: “Entry 31 and Entry 97 (residual entries) of the Union List allow the central government to legislate on matters pertaining to online gaming. Central government has the legislative competency to enact any law on online gaming, and in this particular instance, enacting the impugned amendments in the IT Rules, 2021.”
In its plea, SOCH contended that the amended rules are beyond the Centre’s legislative competence as states under the State List have the exclusive power to legislate on the issue of gambling and betting.
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