High Court declines interim hold on gambling websites

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Wednesday declined to pass any interim order for putting on hold the operation of websites which allow people to gamble, bet and play games of chance, like poker, online.

“No interim relief. Let it go on,” a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi said while hearing a PIL seeking an end to such online games.

The court, however, issued notice to the Centre and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seeking their responses to the plea by Avinash Mehrotra who has alleged that such activities are “illegal”.

He has claimed in his plea that the problem of online gambling was “a rising menace that has ruined the lives and financial security of several persons”.

The petition has contended that such gaming and gambling websites are encouraging people to spend their hard earned money on games of chance like poker and blackjack.

It has claimed that success in these games was based solely on the turn of cards and no skill was involved.

The petition has also alleged that as most of such websites were based outside India, it was leading to foreign exchange leaving the country and this amounted to violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

It has also claimed that such online gaming and gambling websites do not deduct tax from the winnings and nor do the players pay tax, leading to loss of revenue to the government.

Vietnam passes cybersecurity law which could hurt economy

Hanoi: Vietnamese legislators have passed a contentious cybersecurity law, which critics say will hurt the economy and further restrict freedom of expression.

The Communist Party-dominated assembly passed the law by a majority on today. The law requires service providers such as Google and Facebook to store user data in Vietnam, open offices in the country and remove offending contents within 24 hours at the request of authorities.

Addressing the assembly before the vote, the chairman of the Committee on Defense and Security says the law is necessary to defend the interests of the people and national security.

The US has called on Vietnam to delay the passage of legislation.

The Vietnam Digital Communications Association says the law may reduce GDP by 1.7 per cent and wipe out foreign investment by 3.1 per cent.

Delhi to get 1,000 Wi-Fi hotspots by Feb next year

wi fi.The Aam Aadmi Party government on Monday said that it would provide 1,000 Wi-Fi hotspots by February next year across the national capital.

The Government is also contemplating providing Wi-Fi in 5,000 buses of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and also lay a common fibre infrastructure in the city.

Delhi Government in association with the Delhi Dialogue Commission’s Wi-Fi Task Force today concluded a three-day consultation with various system integrators, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), hardware and software providers as well as ISPs and Telecom operators.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, DDA vice-chairman Ashish Khetan, parliamentary secretary Adarsh Shastri and Chief Secretary KK Sharma were part of the consultation.

“Wi-Fi will be the first phase of making Delhi a digital city and will bridge the digital divide by creating an information superhighway, which will consist of CCTV, geotagging, m-governance, e-governance and other citizen services being built on top of Wi-Fi as a service,” Shastri said here.

An official of the IT department said that it envisions the rollout of 1,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the time of completion of first year of AAP Delhi government early next year with further scaling of coverage every year.

As a next step, the AAP Delhi government will ensure mesh coverage across the city.

“Further, the AAP government will consider installing Wi-Fi in 5,000 DTC buses and also laying a common fibre infrastructure network across the city.

“Technical and feasibility study on these issues is being conducted by the Wi-Fi Task Force of Delhi Dialogue Commission and the IT department of Delhi government,” the official said.

According to the government, at the end of this three-day consultation and over 40 one-to-one discussions at the DDA’s Wi-Fi task force, the expert panel came up with preliminary expert recommendations which will be followed by a detailed scoping paper by June-end.

“State government wants to give its every citizen the right to internet and Wi-Fi. Universal access to internet is transformative idea that can empower citizens and provide them a level playing field, irrespective of economic status, educational qualifications, gender, race or religion,” government said in a statement


Prior approval must to arrest under Section 66A: SC

The Supreme Court Thursday said no person would be arrested under Section 66A of the IT Act for posting objectionable comments on social networking websites without prior approval from an officer not below the rank of inspector general of police.

A vacation bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra passed the order after hearing a plea by Shreya Singhal, who had petitioned the court against the arrest of an activist Jaya Vindhyalaya (since been released) under provisions of the IT Act on a complaint filed by an Andhra Pradesh lawmaker

However, the court said that it “can’t grant such blanket orders” as senior counsel Soli Sorabjee told it that police was arresting people on mere charges of posting comments on social media websites that caused inconvenience or annoyance.

The court’s refusal to grant blanket order was on the prayer by which the petitioner had sought to restrain police from initiating “any coercive steps on the basis of Section 66A of the IT Act” till court pronounces its verdict on the matter pending before it.

Justice Misra said that the said provision of IT Act has not been stayed by court.

The court’s order restraining the police from arresting a person for committing offence under Section 66 A of the I.T. Act came after Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra informed the court that the central government Jan 9 this year had issued an advisory to the states on the procedure to be followed before police acted on complaints filed under this provision.

Initially, the court asked Luthra as to why central government was not ensuring the compliance of its advisory when it asked, “Why don’t you ensure the compliance (of your advisory).”

“We (centre) can’t do it. The law and order is a state subject,” he replied.

At this, the court directed the states to ensure the compliance of the advisory issued by the central government and also directed that the copies of its order be sent to all the state governments.

Vindhyalaya, a People’s Union for Civil Liberties activist had allegedly posted derogatory comments on her Facebook timeline on Chirala legislator Amanchi Krisna Mohan and Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah.

Police had invoked the provisions of Section 66A of the IT Act and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code against her.

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act deals with punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, which cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will.