Issue III

1. Game of Skill vs Game of Chance – A Debate

By Priya Sharma & Nayana KB

From National Law University, Odisha

Gambling, as an activity, has been prohibited in various Hindu scriptures or at least allowed under regulation only. It has been described as a vice; an activity prophesied to cause the downfall of a person. The British-era law, Public Gaming Act of 1867, is the governing act for gambling activities in India, being adopted by various states with amendments. Currently, the ambiguous status of the legality of such activities in India has left room for much debate and discourse. States allow games of skill but prohibit games of chance. Some prohibit both, while some allow both. Therefore, proper regulation and the governing mechanism are required to deal with gambling, betting, and fantasy sports. This paper discusses various cases, legislation, and regulatory instruments currently in operation in India and the inadequacy that remains. Firstly, definitions of ‘games of chance’ and ‘games of skill’ will be discussed and compared, and their general legality will be elaborated upon. Thereafter, the paper discusses the history of gambling, ranging from cases and precedents from the United States of America to the legislation currently in effect in India. The question of legality in different states will be elucidated. Further, the paper talks about online and offline gambling and related judicial precedents in India. Thereafter, the paper will detail the issue of fantasy sports and their legality in India, discussing issues such as that of Dream11. The question of morality will be explored too. Lastly, the paper attempts to conclude the urgent need for regulation and control over the gaming industry, exploring all the shortcomings in the system and the current options available to the government.

2. Political Bypassing of Fundamental Duties

By Adv. Shishira Pathak

If there are rights available to a citizen then he must owe some duties too that he must perform for promoting unity and integrity of the nation. Fundamental Rights are given in The Constitution Of India under articles 12-35, which grant rights to the citizens of India like the right to equality (Article 14-18), the Right to freedom (Articles 19-22), right against exploitation (Articles 23-24), right to freedom of religion (Articles 25-28), Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29-30), right to constitutional remedies (Article 32), etc. These rights are included in the constitution because they are considered essential for the development of individual personality. Fundamental rights are given in part iii of the Constitution of India. Fundamental rights are justiciable which means a person can move to courts for their enforcement in case of their violation.

3. Taxation in Online Fantasy Sports – An Indian Perspective

By Manvee & Ananya Gauri Agarwal

From Chanakya National Law University, Patna

Fantasy sports is a kind of online multiplayer gaming platform, that allows people to make imaginary teams consisting of the representation of real players such as that in hockey, cricket, kabbadi, etc. This area of sports entered the Indian market in 2001 via ESPN Star Sports, though had been around since 1952, first introduced in the US. Now, by the year 2019, this sport has already reached 90 million players, and from the current statistics, India can be seen as the biggest market for fantasy sports. Though the legality of the game has been doubted, on the basis of whether it is a “game of chance” or “a game of skill.” If the fantasy sports platform is a “game of chance,” it is regulated by state regulations related to gambling. It can be seen in the recent Supreme Court judgment, by a bench of Just. Rohinton Nariman and Just. B.R.Gavai has held that the fantasy sports platform, Dream 11, is a “game of skill and not chance,” with due respect to the intricacies of the gaming platform. Hence, fantasy sports may be legal or illegal based on the state laws in place. Seeing as how this industry is booming and thriving, the market that it is generating has huge potential. The taxation rules, for online gaming, enforce the tax collection to be split into two parts – One to be paid by the individual winning the amount in the game and the other to be paid by the company providing the gaming platform. The individual’s taxes are governed under Section 194B and 115BB of the Income-tax Act and the taxes paid by the gaming platform provider are governed by Section 15 of the Central GST Act and Rule 31A(3) of the GST rules. This type of online gambling differs from other actionable claims and hence should be taxed separately. In this paper, we will discuss how much tax these platforms should be paying under the current taxation rules that apply to fantasy sports and if they differ based on “game of chance” or “a game of skill” criteria.

4. Traditional Hindu Law on Charitable & Religious Endowments

By Manvee

From Chanakya National Law University, Patna

Endowments can be defined as gifts given to deities or properties set apart for the deity or to some religious institutions like temples which are used by the general public. Endowments also include beneficial works and social welfare done for mankind. Endowments are most gifted in the field of social welfare, health, education, orphanages and old age homes, etc. and the reason behind this practice is that it is believed in Hindu dharma that doing such stuff will lead to attaining moksha after the death of the person and another reason for doing so is to nullify the past sins of oneself of previous birth according to Hindu dharma. A person who is a Hindu and is not a minor, is of sound mind may dispose of his/her property by will or by a gift for charitable and religious purposes and these religious purposes include worship and establishment of idols, feeding the poor, and Brahmanas, performing religious ceremonies like Lakshmi Puja, Durga puja and Shradha and the endowments to the university or a hospital. Although this is not an exhaustive list merely a shortlist, in Hindu law what constitutes religious merit is exhaustive.

5. A Critique on Syed Asifuddin and Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh and Anr. [2006]

By Garima Bairagi

From Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal

A petition was filed in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh under Section 482 of CrPC, 1937 for some relief of quashing the F.I.R. done against them. A case was filed against the petitioners by Reliance Infocomm Ltd., Hyderabad under various sections of IPC, the Information Technology Act, and the copyright act. The Reliance company launched a mobile phone of Rs.10,500 with a service bundle for three years and with the payment of Rs.3,350 only, this scheme helped them to sell so many phones and they made good profit with the scheme. The rival companies now got jealous of them and they used some wrong or illegal ways to steal the users from Reliance, they launched their low-cost tariff plans and did the publicity of their plans, and attracted the customers towards themselves. This made some customers change their services from Reliance to TATA Indicom. And due to this, Reliance went into loss, and then they filed a case against the employees of TATA Indicom for stealing their customers using wrong and illegal ways.

6. A Critique on Varun Gumber v. Union Territory of Chandigarh & Ors. [2017]

By Adv. Apurva Chodankar

[Practising Advocate, District Court of Goa]

In India fantasy games are accepted immensely, fantasy sports/games are a new kind of gaming that is played virtually having real-life players. Virtual gaming is at its peak because of the increasing use of the internet all over the world. the current online gaming user base in the country is estimated to be around 365 million. In the present case we will be focusing on the virtual gaming league, the petitioner participated in on the respondents gaming website. As the case goes ahead, we will see there is a distinction made concerning skills and game chance. There are different views given by the judges on gambling, skill, virtual gaming, and how it doesn’t come under the preview of gambling.

7. Analysis of Sameer Wadekar & Anr. v. Netflix Entertainment Services Pvt. Ltd & Ors. (2020)

By Drishik Behl

From Government Law College, Mumbai

The case is primarily based on an ad-interim order filed by a film writer for the blocking of the release of a film which he believes is his copyrighted work and there has been plagiarism. The application is based on a “146-second” video clip that was released on the Platform YouTube and the plaintiff believes that there were about 13 similarities between his work and the trailer of the newly released film. The plaintiff hence moved to the court and upon further proceedings of the case, the honorable justice relied primarily on three points. First being the fact that the plaintiff states that his work is of fiction and absolute imagination. Then what about the similarities? How can ideas be plagiarized? The second is the fact that there was a lot of delay on the part of the plaintiff in filing the application, Information about the web series, as it was available in the public domain for more than 10 months. Third, is the fact that “Betaal” is a term that originates from Hindu scriptures from the times of King Vikram Aditya’s “Betaal” who used to answer the king’s questions. It’s a well-known story among the Hinduism culture and hence the idea was widespread thus not amounting to plagiarism.

8. A Critique on Gurdeep Singh Sachar v. Union of India (2019)

By Rohitkumar Rout

From Chanakya National Law University, Patna

In recent years, India has seen a tremendous surge in the number of internet users, as access to the same has become easier and cheaper than before. As part of the surge, the online gaming sector in India has also seen a drastic increase in the number of users that utilize such services, especially the fantasy sports segment. Companies like Dream11, HalaPlay, Mobile Premier League (MPL), are some of the biggest names, in terms of the number of users, that are engaged in the fantasy sports sector. But, the business of fantasy sports has also raised many doubts regarding its legality and ethics. One such case dealing with the legality of fantasy sports is that of Gurdeep Singh Sachar v. Union of India Ors.

9. C.B.I v. Arif Azim – A Critical Analysis of Cyber Crime in India

By Shubhi Shukla

From Amity Law School, Noida

During the last 90s Internet was just invented and within the next two decades, it has now become an essential part of our lives. We, humans, depend on the Internet for all our requirements whether it be online shopping, food orders, connecting with friends, studying, purchasing policies, banking, etc. It has now covered almost every aspect of our life. As the Internet’s usage and benefits grew with time so did the idea of cybercrime. Our society develops and becomes complex at the same time. The use of the Internet did not only ease our lives but also evolved different types of cybercrimes.