Three online games firms move HC against plea to ban them

The Madras High Court on Friday agreed to allow three firms in the business of online games to get impleaded in two public interest litigation petitions seeking a direction to the Centre and the State government to ban such games played with stakes.

A Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha accepted a request made by senior counsel P.S. Raman to allow the impleading petitions filed by Junglee Games India Pvt. Ltd. Play Games 24X7 Pvt. Ltd. and another firm.

The senior counsel urged the court to hear the firms and take their counter affidavits on file before passing any orders on the PIL petitions since they were confident of carrying on a legally permitted business under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.

It was brought to the notice of the court that the Centre had filed a counter affidavit to dismiss one of the two PIL petitions and it was yet to file a counter in the other. After taking note, the judges adjourned the cases to September 29 for knowing the stand of the State government.

Play Games, having its registered office in Mumbai, submitted that it was engaged in the business of software development related to games, deployment, marketing and maintenance of its Online Rummy website and app and other games on the mobile platforms. It had employed 515 people at its Mumbai and Bengaluru offices and had been paying Goods and Services Tax and income tax in the course of carrying on legally permitted business and operating within the parameters of applicable law, the petition read.

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