Thursday, January 20, 2022
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No Legislative Jurisdiction Over Online Games, Can Only Block It: Centre In Lok Sabha

NEW DELHI: The Central government said that it has no legal authority over the content of online games.

It also stated that it can only order the blocking of public access to information on the Internet under the conditions set forth in Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000, and after following the procedures outlined in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Public Access of Information) Rules, 2009.

Members of Parliament (MPs) Sumedhanand Saraswati and Ranjeeta Koli had asked for a response from the Centre to the Lok Sabha.

The MPs asked the Ministry of Electronics, Information and Technology (MeiTY) if the government was aware of a large number of games available on the Internet that were wasting the time of the younger generation, causing them to become addicted to gambling, and causing significant financial loss to the youth and their parents.

In response, the government stated, “Entries 34 and 62 of List II of the Indian Constitution’s Seventh Schedule provide for the regulation and taxation of “betting and gambling” to be governed by state legislatures. Most state governments have developed their own legislation to deal with betting and gaming inside their borders, based on the former Public Gambling Act of 1867.”

“Some state governments have used these items in the Seventh Schedule to extend their legal and regulatory control over online games inside their borders,” it continued.

The ministry claimed that the Centre has notified the IT rules 2021 in keeping with its goal of having an open, safe, trusted, and responsible Internet, citing actions made by the government. “The stated guidelines provide for the removal of any information/application that is in violation of any existing legislation, as and when reported by the competent government or its authorised agency,” the response said.

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