1 ® IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA KALABURAGI BENCH DATED THIS THE19H DAY OF OCTOBER, 2016 PRESENT THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE ANAND BYRAREDDY THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE L. NARAYANA SWAMY AND REVIEW PETITION No.200029 OF2016IN WRIT APPEAL No.200290 OF2015(GM-POLICE) BETWEEN: D.V.R.Recreation Club (a Unit of Janege Green Gardens Private Limited) A company incorporated under The Companies Act, 1956, Having its office at Opposite: Nandini Milk Dairy, S.No:52/2-I, Yeramaras, Raichur – 584 134. Represented by its Managing Director. Mr. Muralimohan Reddy Pattipadu, Son of Mr. Thimma Reddy Pattipadu, Aged about 39 years, Occupation: Managing Director, Opposite: Nandini Milk Dairy, S.No:52/2-I, Yeramaras, Raichur – 584 134. …PETITIONER2Shri (By Shri N. Krishnacharya and Shri K. Ramachandra, Advocate) M. Manu Kulkarni, Advocate for AND:
5. The State of Karnataka, Through Home Department, Bengaluru. The Superintendent of Police, Raichur – 584 134. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Raichur – 584 134. The Circle Inspector of Police, Raichur Rural Police Station, Raichur – 584 134. The Sub-Inspector of Police, Raichur Rural Police Station, Raichur – 584 134. …RESPONDENTS (By Shri Nadagouda, Additional Advocate General for Respondents) ***** This Review Petition is filed under Section 114 read with Order 47 Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, by the advocate for review petitioner praying to review paragraph 3(iv) the order 27.6.2016 passed by this Hon’ble court in Writ Appeal No.200290/2015 in light of Section 176 of the Karnataka Police Act 1963, in the interest of justice and equity. 3 This Review Petition coming on for orders through Video Conferencing at the Principal Bench at Bengaluru, this day, Anand Byrareddy J., made the following: ORDER
There is a delay of 19 days in filing the Review Petition. For the reasons stated, the delay is condoned.
2. The petitioner is before this court in the following circumstances: The petitioner initially approached this court in its writ jurisdiction in the background that the club run by the petitioner was raided and the police demanded that the club obtain a licence to carry on its recreational activities. It was the case of the petitioner that no such licence was required and therefore the writ petition. The learned Single Judge had passed an order issuing the following directions: “(i) The petitioner shall install within a period of six weeks, CC TV cameras, at all the places of access to its members and also at all the places, wherein game(s) is / are played by the members. The CC TV footage of at least prior 15 days’ period shall 4 be made available by the petitioner, to the police, as and when called upon to do so. (ii) The petitioner shall issue identity card(s) to all its member(s), which shall be produced by the member(s), when called upon by the police, during the raid(s) and surveillance etc. (iii) The petitioner shall not allow any non- member(s) or the guest(s) of the member(s), to make use of its premises for the purpose of playing any kind of game(s) or recreational activities. (iv) The petitioner shall not permit any activity by any of its member(s), by indulging in acts of amusement, falling within the definition of Ss.(2(14) & 2(15) of the Act and shall not permit any game(s) of chance as per Explanation (II) of Sub-section (7) of Section 2 of Karnataka Police Act, 1963. The member(s) shall not be allowed to pay any kind of game(s) with stakes or make any profit or gain out of the game(s) played. (v) The petitioner shall put proper mechanism in place and shall ensure that no game(s) is played in any unlawful manner by the member(s). If the police find that game(s) played is contrary to any law and in violation of the settled practice, it is open to them to take action against petitioner and the offenders, in accordance with law. 5 (vi) The jurisdictional police shall have liberty to visit premises periodically and / or on receipt of any information about any unlawful activity being carried on in the petitioner’s premises. (vii) The respondents are directed not to interfere with the lawful recreational activities carried on by the members of the petitioner – Club / Association. (viii) It is made clear that this order would not come in the way of the jurisdictional police invoking the provisions of the Act and taking action in accordance with law, if the member(s) of the petitioner are found to have indulged in any unlawful or immoral activities.” The learned Single Judge thus disposed of the writ petition.
3. In an appeal before this Bench, it was contended that one of the conditions imposed would have prevented the petitioners’ members from even playing games of skill, with or without stakes. At the hearing of the appeal, since there was strong opposition by the State to prevent any kind of wagering in the course of their recreational activities, it was insisted that even games of skills could be played only without stakes. 6 Therefore, we modified the conditions imposed by the learned Single Judge. In that, paragraph 2(iii) was deleted and insofar as Paragraph 2(iv) was concerned, it was ordered to incorporate the phrase “except games of skill, without stakes”. The petitioner is now before this court to point out that the police are now interpreting the condition imposed as restricting members of the club even from playing games of skill such as Gin rummy, with stakes. This according to the petitioner, is contrary to the letter and spirit of Section 176 of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, which expressly clarifies the position and reads as follows: “176 Saving of games of skill.—For the removal of doubts it is hereby declared that the provisions of Section 79 and 80 shall not be applicable to the playing of any pure game of skill and to wagering by persons taking part in such game of skill.” It is thus contended that a game of skill could be permitted to be played, with stakes. In other words, any pure game of skill could be played while the persons taking part in such game of skill could also wager. Hence it is contended that 7 the condition imposed runs counter to the said provision and would seek that the same be modified further to delete the words, “without stakes”.
4. The learned Additional Advocate General Shri Nadagouda, strongly opposes the review petition and would point out that the ingredients of a review petition are absent in the present petition on hand. There is no error apparent on record, as sought to be contended. The matter was fully heard. The counsel for the petitioner had the benefit of the statute and it is not as if the Karnataka Police Act was not within his purview at the time of arguments and hence, the contention that Section 176 of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963 had been overlooked, is a lame ground on which a Review Petition could be sustained and hence, seeks dismissal of the petition. Especially, if any such leeway is granted to the members of the club of the petitioner, it would lead to the mischief of gambling being carried on openly, which is prohibited. Hence, it is sought that the very object of the legislation would be lost if 8 any such concession is made. He seeks that the petition be rejected at the threshold.
5. However, it is a fact that Section 176 of the Karnataka Police Act was not brought to our attention and it was completely overlooked. From a reading of Section 176, it does appear that persons taking part in such games of skill could also wager. Whether rummy, a game of cards, could be considered as a game of skill had come up for consideration before the Supreme Court. In the said judgment, in the case of State of Andhra Pradesh vs. K. Satyanarayana and others AIR1968SC825 the court has held that rummy is not entirely a game of chance but is ‘preponderantly’ a game of skill. In a further judgment in Dr. K.R. Lakshmanan vs. State of T.N. and another (1996) 2 SCC226 the Supreme Court has, while also noting the earlier judgment in K. Satyanarayana, supra, equated a game of rummy to that of chess or golf, which are pure games of skill. Therefore, it could be said that rummy is indeed a game of skill, though some element of chance is involved. Preponderantly, as held by the Supreme Court in K. 9 Satyanarayana, rummy is a game of skill. Therefore, if the words “without stakes” are deleted from the judgment of this court, the petitioner’s purpose would be served and there would be no chance of misinterpretation. The benefit of Section 176 could then not be denied to the petitioner. Accordingly, the Review Petition is allowed. The judgment of this court to the extent that the words “without stakes” shall be deleted from Condition No.3(iv) cited above. The Registry to carry out such correction in the main judgment and to take further steps as may be necessary. Sd/- JUDGE Sd/- JUDGE KS