Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi on Monday gave his assent to a Bill banning online gambling hours after state Assembly adopted a resolution urging the president and the Union government to instruct him to clear Bills within a timeframe, reported NDTV.
The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gaming and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022, proposes that those who participate in online gambling could be fined Rs 5,000, or be sentenced to jail for up to three months, or both. Those who advertise such games could be jailed for up to a year, while persons organising them could be imprisoned for three years.
Ravi had rejected the Bill last month saying that the Tamil Nadu Assembly had “no legislative competence” to frame it.
While moving the resolution against the governor on Monday, Chief Minister MK Stalin said that Ravi’s public statement on Bills that have been passed in the House and sent for his assent was against his job, oath of office, the interest of the state’s administration, established traditions and also against the Constitution.
Ravi’s comments reduce the stature of the state Assembly and belittle the supremacy of legislature in a Parliamentary democracy, Stalin said.
The resolution read: “This august House records with deep regret the action of the Hon’ble governor of Tamil Nadu in indefinitely withholding many Bills without giving permission, passed by the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu – on the basis of its sovereignty and the legislative responsibilities enshrined in the Constitution of India – thereby functioning against the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu.”
There are 20 other Bills still pending with Ravi, including one that seeks to remove governor as chancellor of state universities.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government in the state has had several points of conflict with the governor over the past few months.
Ravi, in a customary address to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on January 10, had skipped references to Ambedkar, Dravidar Kazhagam founder Periyar, former Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers K Kamaraj and CN Annadurai, as well as the “Dravidian model” of governance while reading out the speech prepared by the state government.
After this, Stalin had urged the president to intervene and ask Ravi to ensure he follows the Cabinet’s advice without bias.
In February last year, Ravi had returned a Bill to the Assembly for reconsideration after it passed a proposal to exempt Tamil Nadu students from taking the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test, or NEET, for admission to undergraduate medical courses.
The Bill had proposed that admission of students to medical courses be carried out based on Class 12 examination results.