Monthly Archives: May 2014

Mobile Gaming Market In India And Legal Challenges

Mobile Gaming Market In India And Legal ChallengesEntertainment and media industry of India is all set to touch new heights in India. Information and communication technology (ICT) has also expanded the reach and scope of entertainment and media industry in India. Along with these growth trends there are also many challenges that must be taken care of by these industries.  These include cyber law due diligence requirements (PDF) and cyber security compliances as well.

Mobile and online gaming industry of India is also fast maturing and as per various business reports it is going to grow further in the coming years. However, the mobile application developers in India are not complying with Indian laws as on date. While online gaming market of India is fast growing yet when it comes to rules and regulations various gaming stakeholders are very lax in following the same. Even rules pertaining to mobile payment are not followed in true letter and spirit.

Many mobile gaming stakeholders in India have explored the route of e-commerce as well without following the legal requirements. Surprisingly, the e-commerce due diligence in India is neglected by even the investors and financial institutions.

There are set online gaming industry laws in India that must be adhered to by various online gaming stakeholders, including the mobile gaming companies and stakeholders. Individuals and companies providing online and mobile gaming facilities and services must not only comply with traditional laws of India but also with the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) and many other techno legal regulations as applicable in India.

For instance, a mobile gaming provider may be held accountable for the contents and games it provides to various consumers and users. Mobile games providers are also “Internet intermediary” within the meaning of IT Act, 2000 and they can be held liable for violation of Internet intermediary obligations. Further, payment gateway issues are also involved in mobile gaining services.

If a company is involved in the creation and marketing of mobile games, its directors can be held liable for cyber law violations through such mobile games. The liability of directors can be found under various Indian laws like IT Act, 2000, Companies Act, 2013, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Indian Penal Code, 1860, etc. Even the legal risks for companies developing e-commerce and online and mobile gaming applications and websites in India are well known.

In their own interest, mobile games providers in India must strictly comply with the techno legal requirements as prescribed by various Indian laws. Otherwise, they may find themselves on the wrong side of the Indian laws.

Delhi Police’s Crime Branch Busts Betting Syndicate For IPL Cricket Matches

Delhi Police’s Crime Branch Busts Betting Syndicate For IPL Cricket MatchesRecently the Ahmedabad crime branch arrested two bookies for their alleged role in betting on IPL Cricket matches. Now it has been reported that the Delhi Police’s crime branch has busted a betting syndicate for IPL cricket matches.

With the arrest of a mechanical engineer and three others, the Delhi police’s crime branch claimed to have busted a betting syndicate in the Rohini area of outer Delhi. According to the police, 40 mobile phones, one television, one mobile signal booster, one laptop, a printer and a voice recorder have been recovered in the raid.

On a tip-off that betting will be placed on IPL cricket match between Sunrises Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians on 30 April, a raid was conducted and the accused were arrested. They have been identified as Rakesh Sethi, Bantu Nagpal, Sanjay Hasija and Vishu Sethi.The police said that the accused were accepting bets in person as well as through mobile phones. They were also providing lines to several other bookies.

Three mobiles phones were being used as “dabba” to broadcast rates to the bookies. The betting amount of the match till the time of the raid was Rs 25 lakh and the gang has so far accepted betting amount to the tune of Rs 1 Crore in the ongoing IPL season, according to the police.

During interrogation, the accused disclosed that earlier they used to put bets on cricket matches and subsequently they decided to work as bookies as well as to provide betting lines to small bookies.

“They were earlier operating from Sonipat in Haryana but the local police got suspicious about their activities so they decided to shift to Rohini area to run their operations in rented premises so that their activities remain unnoticed in a new locality,” the cops said. Rakesh Sethi, the kingpin works as mechanical engineer in a private firm.

Ahmedabad Crime Branch Arrested Two Bookies For Their Alleged Role In Betting On IPL Cricket Matches

Ahmedabad Crime Branch Arrested Two Bookies For Their Alleged Role In Betting On IPL Cricket MatchesThe betting on IPL cricket matches is not new. Online gambling and betting in India is strictly regulated and any deviance is considered to be a crime. Despite this fact, illegal online gambling and betting is happening in India a lot.

The individuals who are indulging in illegal online gambling and betting have been operating from all corners of India. They are using technology to conduct their illegal operations and activities.

Now it has been reported that the city crime branch of Ahmedabad has arrested two bookies, who were wanted for their alleged role in betting on IPL cricket matches, from Bopal on Saturday. Acting on a tip-off, a team of the crime branch officials raided a shop in a complex on the Sardar Patel Ring Road in the evening and nabbed the two wanted bookies along with five others from the spot.

According to crime branch officials, the team lead by inspector B P Rojiya got a tip-off on Vinod Mulchandani and Jitu Bopal that they were found in Bopal area. The team swung into action and raided a shop in Amrapali Complex on Bopal road.

A member of the team said that the police seized Rs 1.5 lakh in cash, mobile phone worth Rs one lakh, laptop, diaries and a television set from the spot. Four cars belonging to the accused have also been seized from the spot by the police.

“Vinod Mulchandani is considered to be one of the top bookies in the city whose name surfaced during the last year’s IPL matches. In some of the recent cases, Jitu Bopal’s name had surfaced through whom some major transactions were routed. The diary seized from the spot will throw more light on the entire betting racket,” said an official.

Income Tax Official Raids Four Offshore Casino Vessels And One Onshore Casino In Panaji

Income Tax Official Raids Four Offshore Casino Vessels And One Onshore Casino In PanajiUse of gambling platforms for illegal transactions and money laundering has become a cause of concern for the tax authorities of India. Recently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided and searched many Bitcoin companies operating in India. ED believes that Bitcoins can be used for hawala transactions and funding terror operations.

Now it has been reported that the income tax officials on Tuesday raided four offshore casino vessels and one onshore casino in Panaji, on a tip-off that they were indulging in illegal cash transactions. A team of officers from Bangalore raided the offices and vessels of Deltin Royale and Deltin Jaqk, Casino Pride 1 and Pride 2, as well as Hotel Neo Majestic in Porvorim that lodges Casino Paradise. The residences of company directors B R Arora, Ashok Wadia and Ashok Khetrapal in Goa, Mumbai and Delhi were also raided, I-T sources said.

The casinos were shut down for the day, and customers present, when the I-T officials arrived, were asked to leave. “But, we have not sealed any of the casinos yet,” an I-T detective clarified.

“We received information that the casinos were being used for money-laundering. As many of the high-rollers do not divulge the source of the money they spend gambling, the casinos are also unable to keep an account of the same,” said an I-T sleuth. “We have seized a large number of documents and some cash, and are now going through the accounts to gather evidence. It may take a few days to complete the process,” he added.

A Notification by Goa Government for Preventing Money Laundering and for Combating Financing of Terrorism 2012 (PDF) was issued in 2012 in this regard. By virtue of clause xiv of that notification the Goa Anti Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Guidelines 2013 (PDF) were formulated.

Through these regulations, the Goa Government had mandated that all casino operators follow certain “Know Your Customer” norms, requiring them to keep a record of the identity of every customer and the source of the person’s money. It is also compulsory for casino operators to report financial transactions of more than 10 lakh to the financial intelligence unit of the Central Government. All customer-related data should be retained for 10 years, according to the guidelines.

With reference to the new item appearing in the Media titled “IT department raids the premises of the company”, Delta Corp Ltd has Clarified to BSE that the Income Tax Authorities had carried out search and seizure proceedings at the premises of the Company and certain officials on April 29, 2014. The Company is in the process of collating & responding to all the queries raised by the Income Tax Authorities and the responsible officers of the company have been extending all co-operation in this regard.

Sports Integrity Unit Of Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) Would Curb Illegal Sports Betting In India

Sports Integrity Unit Of Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) Would Curb Illegal Sports Betting In IndiaIllegal sports betting have significantly increased in India. In fact, an anti match fixing law of India has already been proposed by Indian Government. However, online gambling and online betting are still not considered to be legal in India except in certain circumstances.

Meanwhile, the law enforcement agencies of India have been working hard to curb and punish online gambling rackets and activities in India. Many sophisticated online gambling rackets have been busted by Indian Police in the past. Recently Mumbai crime branch busted an online gambling network spreading across India.

Even the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has set up a new “Sports Integrity Unit” as part of an effort to combat illegal sports betting in the country.  The new unit will operate under the guidance of the Special Crime Branch in Delhi. The unit will be tasked with investigating and enquiring into matters related to sport frauds, combating malpractices in sports and coordination with sports federations and law enforcement agencies.

The Sports Integrity Unit will also actively engage with the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in order to ensure that the law dealing with corruption in sports is put in place as soon as possible. The CBI said that by setting up the new unit, India will become one of the few nations in the world to have a dedicated set up as part of its federal investigative agency that focuses on sporting frauds.

Tamil Nadu Police Files Application In The Supreme Court Claiming That Sampath Kumar Falsely Deposed Before Mudgal Committee

Tamil Nadu Police Files Application In The Supreme Court Claiming That Sampath Kumar Falsely Deposed Before Mudgal CommitteeThe Tamil Nadu Government has recently moved the Supreme Court of India and rubbished the allegations by police officer Sampath Kumar relating to the IPL probe on betting and spot fixing. The application has described the allegations as false and baseless and said that he was suspended on charges of extortion and demanding bribe from bookies.

In its application seeking to implead itself in the ongoing BCCI case, it said Mr. Sampath Kumar had made scathing allegations against the Tamil Nadu Police without impleading the State of Tamil Nadu. It said the Intervener had not cited either CBCID or Tamil Nadu Government as respondent to misguide the Supreme Court. It said the attempt of the intervener was only to quash/stay the suspension order dated February 27 without following the procedure of first approaching the Central Administrative Tribunal.

A Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla had already reserved orders on the plea of Cricket Association of Bihar for a further probe by an independent panel, preferably by Justice Mudgal panel itself.

In his application Mr. Sampath Kumar had prayed for a SIT probe into the involvement of the top BCCI management and some cricket players in the betting and spot fixing scam in the IPL-6 matches. He said he was part of the investigation conducted earlier by the CBCID, Chennai and later shunted from the probe and suspended. He alleged that the Chennai Police had indulged in a cover up operation and had not conducted the probe in a free and fair manner.

The Tamil Nadu Police has filed an application in the Supreme Court saying that suspended IPS officer Sampath Kumar had falsely deposed before the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee that investigated the Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting scandal. Kumar, who was part of Tamil Nadu Police’s ‘Q’ Branch, had opened a can of worms by alleging that bookies were involved with prominent players, including current Team India stars. Kumar’s deposition is part of a report submitted by the Mudgal panel to the Supreme Court on February 10.

For the first time, Tamil Nadu Police has clarified that it suspended Kumar in February this year for extracting a bribe from cricket bookies who operated in Chennai. The application says that Mahendra Singh Ranka (a bookie) gave Rs 30 lakh to Kumar “in his office” and delivered Rs 30 lakh to three persons as directed by the IPS officer. Kumar has appealed against his suspension in Supreme Court.

The Tamil Nadu Police application says: “In order to escape from the clutches of law, Kumar had falsely deposed before the probe committee headed by Justice Mudgal.” It adds: “Various allegations made by Kumar against CBCID are absolutely false, factually incorrect and baseless.”

The application also rejects Kumar’s claim that he was transferred from ‘Q’ branch to Tiruchy at the behest of influential persons wanting to derail investigations. Tamil Nadu Police says Kumar’s transfer was “according to government rules and procedures.”

Tamil Nadu police says Kumar should not have deposed before the Mudgal committee. “He was not a member of the investigating team,” said the application, adding the suspended IPS officer should have impleaded the CBCID, Tamil Nadu as a party in his petition to the apex court.

The Supreme Court is on the verge of forming a second committee to probe the IPL case further. The court wants Justice Mudgal to lead the probe again, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India is for a new man to head the second round of investigations. It remains to be seen how the court deals with the Tamil Nadu Police application as Kumar’s deposition can prove to be critical in the entire case.