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Centre tells Delhi High Court it has competence to regulate online gaming; says it is necessary to protect children

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) said that the IT Rules, as amended on April 6, 2023, requires online gaming intermediaries to undertake the same due diligence procedures across India.

“Such due diligence and the prescribed verification processes shall serve as necessarу safeguard to protect vulnerable youths and children across the country and at the same time regulate the online gaming industry and offer online games in a responsible manner,” the affidavit submitted by MEITY stated.

On its legislative competence to bring in the changes, it said that Entry 31 of List I (Union List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution empowers the Centre to make internet communications safer for users.

“There is no specific reference to the word ‘Online Gaming’ in the Constitution. However, it is an indisputable fact that online gaming is virtual, boundaryless and part of the internet ecosystem…therefore, Entry 31 and Entry 97 (residual entries) of the Union List allow the Central Government to legislate on matters pertaining to online gaming.”

Source: Barandbench

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