Karnataka High Court: Alok Aradhe, J. while disposing of this petition made clear that this order would not come in the way of the police invoking the provisions of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963 (the Act) if the members of the Bantwal Recreation Club (Petitioner) are found to indulge in any unlawful or immoral activities.

This instant petition was filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India with a prayer to direct the Respondents 1 to 3 from not interfering in skill games played in computerized electronic machines in the club.

Counsel for the Petitioner, Rajarama Sooryambail submitted that the petitioner seeks a writ of mandamus declaring that the petitioners and their members are entitled to play games like Rummy, Andhar Bahar, Carrom, Chess and other such skilled games. It was further submitted that by doing this they neither contravene any of the provisions nor attract any amount of offence under the Act. Therefore, the Respondents 2 to 4 should be restrained from causing any interference of any sort.

This particular controversy in the instant writ petition was already covered in a review petition.

The Court after observing the submissions of the parties and analyzing the case at hand disposed of the writ petition with certain dos and don’ts to the petitioner. Firstly, CCTV cameras shall be installed where games are played within six weeks and at least prior fifteen days period of footage shall be made available to the police. Secondly, identity cards shall be issued to the members so that they are able to produce when asked for. Thirdly, the petitioner shall not permit any activity by any of its members like indulging in acts of amusement as per Sections 2(14) and 2(15) of the Act and shall neither be allowed to play any kind of games for profits nor shall be allowed to play in an unlawful manner.

The Court also directed the respondents not to interfere in lawful recreational activities of the members of the petitioner and gave police the liberty to visit the premises periodically.[Bantwal Recreation Club v. State of Karnataka, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 1444, decided on 04-09-2019]

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