High Court rules game of Rummy is not gambling
Coming to the rescue of an Amravati businessman, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court quashed a charge sheet against him while holding that the playing rummy can't be brought under the definition of gambling.

"Petitioner is one of the members of the recreational club and it's his contention that they were playing rummy. Game of rummy is not gambling," a division bench comprising Prasanna Varale and Murlidhar Giratkar ruled, while citing earlier Supreme Court verdicts.

Gajendra Kedia, a reputed businessman running an ice factory, moved the court for quashing and setting aside the charge sheet filed at Rajapeth Police Station on June 14 last year.

He rented out his premises in December 2015 to the Shivleela Sporting and Social Club at Saturna in Amravati with a view to promote social and recreational activities, including sporting games such as carom, chess, hockey, football, cricket, card games and rummy. It was one of the well-known clubs of the area having about 70 members, including the petitioner, who are over 45 years.

The club sought permission from the Amravati commissioner of police for running indoor entertaining games of like card room, table tennis and rummy on its premises on January 15 last year.

On May 23, 2016, when the members were engaged in playing game of skill — rummy — with false table counters, at about 5.30pm, police officials raided the club without any permission. They seized the entire possessions of the club including the membership cards, false table counters, tables and chairs.

All the members were physically searched and money in their wallets was also seized on the accusations that they were indulged in gambling where money was used.

The cops registered a complaint against Kedia and 27 others under Sections 4 and 5 of the 'Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887'. Even as all belongings of the club have been seized, those were not reflected in the seizure panchanama. The FIR was silent about the requirement of gaming, that is the game of chance by the petitioner for stake or wager which is to become the property of the winner.

Citing details from panchanama, the court noted that it didn't show any specific game played by the petitioner and others. "It simply states that they were playing cards with money and those were seized. It appears that the respondents filed FIR on assumptions and presumptions that petitioner was running common gaming house, but there was nothing to show," the judges pointed out.

Citing the Act, they added that the cops failed to show any prima facie case against businessman and others that they were gambling during the raid. "There is no any averment in the FIR or charge sheet that the petitioner was found playing gambling, a particular game," they said while allowing the plea.

Source: Times of India