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At the request of the parties and the latest developments in the gaming industry, the Gaussian Network Pvt Ltd v. Monica Lakhanpal & National Capital Territory of Delhi case was disposed by the Delhi High Court on April 21.
The case was being followed eagerly by the Indian gaming industry, as the legal future of online gaming in the country would be influenced by the Court’s decision. In 2012, the District Court had considered online poker for stakes as illegal and the hearing had been deferred in January this year to April 21.
Latest reports according to Glaws.in state that Justice Indermeet Kaur set aside the 2012 observations and the order of the Additional District Judge, New Delhi, which ruled that online poker was a game involving chance and thus illegal. Justice Kaur allowed the revision petition to be withdrawn and accepted the proposition that the case was instituted under Order 36 of the Code of Civil Procedure and was thus non-adversarial litigation, which made it not binding on the parties concerned.
The petitioners were represented by Senior Advocate and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was also the counsel for the online rummy parties in the Mahalakshmi Cultural Association case.
Dr. Singhvi made arguments citing recent legal developments, such as the withdrawal of the rummy for stakes Mahalakhmi Cultural Association matter, as well as favourable rulings by the Karnataka and Kolkata High Courts and the recent passing of an online bill by Nagaland recognizing games of skill.
Additionally, Dr. Singhvi declared that the parties would be ‘hit wicket’ if a negative decision was reached and called the petition a ‘huge blunder’.
Dr. Singhvi pointed out that esteemed universities, such as MIT and Harvard taught poker, while the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) had recognized the sport as a mind game.
Other lawyers appearing for both Gaussian Network and Monica Lakhanpal remarked that internet games like poker required skill and operated in an environment free of noxious substances, such as liquor or other illegal activities, unlike physical areas where such games were played.