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T.N. to consider promulgating ordinance against online gaming – Mrit News

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Committee, headed by retired High Court judge K. Chandru, constituted

Committee, headed by retired High Court judge K. Chandru, constituted

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday constituted a committee, headed by K. Chandru, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, to examine issues related to online gaming and submit a report within two weeks. Based on it, the government would take steps to promulgate an ordinance against online gaming.

The decision to set up the committee was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister M. K. Stalin at the Secretariat on June 9, according to an official release issued on Friday.

According to the terms of reference, the committee will suggest the ways to identify the online games that are addictive, leading to a huge financial loss and disastrous consequences, like suicide, and study whether these games really involved skill or mere tricks.

It would collate the empirical data on the ill-effects of online gaming such as suicides and financial loss, besides examining a ban on advertisements relating to online gaming. It would examine the feasibility of curtailing online payments for playing these games.

The committee would study the algorithm of online games to determine whether it could be tweaked to the benefit of the gaming companies and make recommendations on the proposed legislation to “rid the menace of such games”, one of the terms of reference in the government order issued by the Home Department said. It would also make suggestions on any other aspect that would help to achieve the purpose.

The committee would include the Secretary to the Government (Legal Affairs) B. Karthikeyan; Additional Director-General of Police Vinit Dev Wankhede; psychiatrist and founder of NGO Sneha Lakshmi Vijayakumar; and Professor S. Sankararaman of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of some persons getting addicted to virtual games, losing money and falling into a debt trap. Some of the victims took their own lives.

An official release issued by the government said the committee would examine the adverse effect of online rummy, like financial loss and suicides, besides examining the impact of advertisements promoting online rummy on society and ways to regulate them.

“Based on the report, an ordinance would be promulgated, considering the need to find a solution to this issue at once. It would be a model for other States,” the release said.

The government noted that the number of internet users was on the rise every other day; so were those playing online rummy. Though legislation banning online gaming was enacted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly in February last year, the Madras High Court struck it down in August last.

The appeal preferred by the Tamil Nadu government in the Supreme Court in November last year has not been taken up for hearing yet. The legislation enacted by other States, including Karnataka and Kerala, was also struck down by the respective High Courts.

( Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.)

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