TN Governor gives assent to Bill banning online gambling, CM says law will come into force with immediate effect

Eighteen days after the Tamil Nadu state Assembly re-adopted the Bill against online gambling, Governor R N Ravi on Monday gave his assent.

Interestingly, Ravi gave his assent to the Bill shortly after Chief Minister M K Stalin moved a resolution in the state Assembly urging the President and Union Government to fix a time frame for the Governors to give assent for the Bills passed by the state Assembly.

The assent to the Bill came as a surprise in the backdrop of Governor’s controversial speech that if the Governor witholds nod, it means Bill is dead.

Minister for Law S Regupathy received a communication from the Raj Bhavan regarding the Governor’s nod to the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, said sources in the government.

Since the Bill gets it assent, a fine of Rs 5,000 or three months imprisonment with fine shall be imposed on offenders.

The Bill was first passed on October 19 last year following the recommendation of the committee that was headed by retired High Court Judge K Chandru. However, the Governor returned the Bill to the government on March 6, stating that the State Assembly has “no legislative competence”.

Following this, the Chief Minister readopted the Bill in the Assembly on March 23 and informed on the occasion that 41 persons have ended their lives after losing their money in online gambling. AIADMK and BJP have also extended their support to the resolution. It was forwarded to the Governor’s office on the following day. There were a few more cases of suicides after the assembly readopted the Bill.