Justice Rajesh Shukla headed a single judge bench of the Gujarat High Court. Justice Shukla will hear the civil petition concerning the legal status of poker. The hearing of the proceedings from the counsel for the state government is going on from the last few weeks, and the next hearing is on 9th August.
The state government which advocated against the poker mentioned the ills that come with gambling, the social stigma and the moral hazards associated with it. The government further pointed out that betting or wagering on a game of chance for a reward would be a type of gambling or come under the definition of gambling.
The state has powers vested to regulate gambling and can prohibit a mixed game of skills and chance, as per the government. The government further brought to notice the observations in the Satyanarayana judgement of the Supreme Court, where in the case of proof of stakes or profit or gain from the card games activity can lead police to take action.
The State Government discussed the history of poker, and the discussion on foreign judgments where poker is considered a game of chance, and how wagering or gambling is important to the poker game.
However, the case has a lot more coming up from the state government. The arguments, in this case, would extend all the more, seeing the government’s stance. The next hearing would see the government’s arguments. The petitioner counsels may also present their defendant’s response.
Hetal Desai, Jaydeep Dawer of AAA Gaming Pvt. Ltd. Along with 30 other accused arrested have filed a separate petition to annul the matter in the raid of Surat poker club in May 2017. Justice AJ Desai asked the police not to file charge-sheet without the permission, during the hearing of the case in High Court. It has brought some relief to the accused.
Justice Desai will continue to hear on the matter on 28th September, to decide on the validity of FIR filed for playing poker deserves to stay or deserves to be annulled