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PIL in HC seeks ban on online gambling sites

A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the Centre to take steps to ban websites which are involved in gambling, betting and wagering.

The petition has contended that despite there being laws enacted by various states, prohibiting such activities, a large number of websites providing gambling, betting and wagering games are still accessible in India.

“It is submitted that all these activities, though expressly prohibited by law, are being carried out because of a lack of enforcement of the laws in question,” said the plea by Avinash Mehrotra, who claims to offer financial advisory services.

The petition also claims that the online gambling system in India is unregulated and its “a great place for carrying out hawala operations, laundering money, etc”.

“In fact, it is submitted that Foreign Exchange laws, as well as Income Tax laws, are also likely being violated today by the online gambling websites,” it has alleged.

Mehrotra said he had last year moved a similar petition which was disposed of with a direction to the Centre to treat it as a representation and take decision in accordance with law.

Subsequently, he was informed by the central government that it did not have the legislative competence to deal with his representation to ban or block websites, Mehrotra has said in his latest plea.

Besides a ban on these websites, he has sought recovery of taxes due from persons who played on these sites and those who operate them.

He has also sought a direction to the Centre to ‘prosecute the unscrupulous owners/proprietors, and the promoters of the online gambling websites, in accordance with law”.

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