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GUGAI PALAM MAKKAL NARPANI MANDRAM versus THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE

High Court of Madras

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Gugai Palam Makkal Narpani Mandram v. The Commissioner of Police - WRIT PETITION NO.21057 OF 2002 [2002] RD-TN 368 (18 June 2002)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS



DATED: 18/06/2002

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE V.KANAGARAJ

WRIT PETITION NO.21057 OF 2002

Gugai Palam Makkal Narpani Mandram

rep.by its Secretary P.Bhaskar ... Petitioner Vs.

1. The Commissioner of Police,

Salem.

2. The Assistant Commissioner of Police,

Salem Town, Salem.

3. The Inspector of Police,

Shevapet Police Station,

Shevapet, Salem. ... Respondents Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a Writ of Mandamus as stated therein. For petitioner : Mr.C.Prakasam

For respondents : Mr.S.Venkatesh, A.G.P.

:O R D E R



Mr.S.Venkatesh, learned additional government pleader takes notice for the respondents.

2. Petition praying to issue a Writ of Mandamus forbearing the respondents from preventing the members of the petitioner Mandram playing the name of Rummy along with Carom Board, Table Tennis, Chess at Gugai Palam Makkal Narpani Mandram, 68-C, Obuli Street, Gugai, Salem.

3. The case of the petitioner is that it is a `Society' registered with the Registrar of Societies and it is a reputed club in the Salem town offering various entertainment facilities for the members, including games of high skills and there is no complaint of playing any gambling or any untoward incident about the club of the petitioner, but, however, the third respondent and his team are interfering with the day-to-day affairs of the club and is regularly visiting the club and threatening the members with dire consequences if the members play the game of rummy on ground that playing rummy amounts to gambling. Therefore, the petitioner has come forward to file the above writ petition.

4. The main question involved in this writ petition is `whether the game of rummy is a game of chance or a skill game and whether a blanket mandamus could be issued as prayed for by the petitioner?'

5. The question `whether the game of rummy is a game of chance or a game of skill' came up for consideration before the Honourable Supreme Court in STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH vs. K.SATYANARAYANA (A.I.R. 1968 SC 825) and Their Lordships held that `the game of rummy is not a game entirely of chance like the three card game and it requires certain amount of skill because the fall of cards has to be memorised and the building up of rummy requires considerable skill in holding and discarding cards. It is mainly and preponderantly a game of skill.' However, Their Lordships have further held that

"Of course, if there is evidence of gambling in some other way or that the owner of the house or the club is making a profit or gain from the game of rummy or any other game played for stakes, the offence may be brought home."

6. Today, when the above matter has been taken up for consideration, the learned counsel for the petitioner would submit copies of judgments delivered by P.SHANMUGAM,J. in W.P.No.3724 of 2001, dated 8.8.2 001; P.SATHASIVAM,J. in W.P.No.4870 of 2002, dated 19.2.2002 and E. PADMANABHAN,J. in W.P.Nos.14239 and 14240 of 2002, dated 29.4.2002 and would pray to pass the similar orders in this writ petition also being a similar matter.

7. In the judgments cited above, the learned Judges of this Court, while following the said judgment of the Apex Court, have held that ` so long as the activity of the petitioner club does not violate any of the provisions, the respondents have no right to interfere with their activities' and further made it clear that `if the respondents receive any complaint from anyone and suspect the activities of the petitioner's club, undoubtedly, the respondents are entitled to verify and investigate the matter'. It has also been held that `the question whether the petitioner club is involved in recreational activities and games of pure skill is a pure question of fact and therefore, there cannot be a blanket order restraining the respondents from interfering with their activities.'

8. This Court is in full agreement with the decisions and observations of the learned Judges of this Court, delivered in conformity with the judgment of the Apex Court, extracted supra. Therefore, while declining to grant a blanket mandamus as prayed for, this writ petition is disposed of with the following directions:

(i) So long as the petitioner Association or its members carry on lawful activities, the respondents shall not interfere. However, if the respondents have specific information or bona fide suspect that the activities carried on by the petitioner Association or its members are not in accordance with the statutory provisions, or the respondents have reason to believe that there is a violation of the provisions of the Gaming Act or any other enactment, it is well open to the respondents or their subordinates to enter the petitioner Association premises, conduct investigation, question those who involved themselves in such activities and take appropriate action. (ii) It is open to the petitioner or its members to defend themselves in case of any prosecution levelled and it is equally open to them to challenge the action of the respondents if it is not in accordance with law. (iii) The respondents or their subordinates or their men shall not be entitled to enter into the club premises or question the office bearers or other members of the club, so long as the club members confine their club to lawful activities as is permissible in law and if specific information is received, after recording the same in the Station Records, the respondents may enter, investigate, question the members, proceed further according to the gravity of the offence or the violation detected, as the case may be. However, in the circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.

Consequently, W.P.M.P.NO.29106 of 2002 is closed. V.KANAGARAJ, J.

gs.

18.6.2002

To

1. The Commissioner of Police,

Salem.

2. The Assistant Commissioner of Police,

Salem Town, Salem.

3. The Inspector of Police,

Shevapet Police Station,

Shevapet, Salem.

W.P.No.21057 of 2002




Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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