Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court has refused to grant relief to clubs in the city who wanted the Hyderabad police prevented from interfering or obstructing in any manner from running card rooms on club premises where members and guests are allowed to play rummy (13 card game) with stakes.
Justice Vilas V. Afzulpurkar was dealing with a petition by the managements of Chiran Fort Club and nine others challenging the action of the police in closing their card rooms. The petitioners contended that in view of the declaration of the Supreme Court in the case of Kishan Chander versus state of Madhya Pradesh, the game of Rummy is not entirely a game of chance and is a game of skill. So the closure of card rooms by the police was illegal.
Venugopal, counsel for the home department of Telangana submitted that in a recent case the Madras High Court has ruled that in the event Rummy is played by members or guests of a club with stakes, the provisions of the Chennai Police Act are applicable.
The Madras HC has permitted the police to act against gamblers under the Chennai Police Act.
The verdict was challenged before the Supreme Court and it has granted a limited stay on the HC order to the extent of the petitioner club and decided to examine the matter in detail.
He said the Hyderabad city police has closed all card rooms after they found, during a series of raids on clubs, that members were playing Rummy with stakes. The police also seized cash at their instance.
He said that based on the evidence, the police had invoked the Hyderabad Gambling Act and closed the card rooms. He urged the court not to grant relief to the petitioners. While refusing interim relief, the judge said in view of new findings in a similar case by the SC and the Madras HC, the case needs a detailed examination to determine whether playing Rummy with stakes will attract provisions under the Gambling Act or not.
PIL seeks division of judicial staff
A PIL was moved in the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday seeking a directive to the state and Central governments and the HC to take immediate steps to distribute the subordinate judicial officers and other judicial employees to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states.
Senior High Court advocate Sarasani Satyam Reddy moved the PIL as a party in person stating that as per Section 77 of the AP Reorganisation Act, the services of officers of undivided AP have to be distributed between TS and AP.
In accordance with the section, allotment of officers of all cadres in all government departments have been made between the two states, except the officers of judicial services. No steps have been taken for the bifurcation of the subordinate judiciary till date, he added.
He said that the constitution of a separate High Court for AP was relevant for the purpose of the bifurcation of the subordinate judiciary. He challenged the notification issued by the High Court before the Reorganisation Act came into force to fill up junior civil judges posts and once the state is divided the said notification should have been shelved.
He submitted that the advocates of Telangana have always been discriminated in recruitment to judicial services. Mr Reddy also argued that there cannot be a common higher judicial service and judicial service for the two states and recruitment cannot be made by the High Court for subordinate judiciary without first dividing the subordinate judiciary as it is ultra vires to Article 233 and 234 of the Constitution.