In a new development, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Sunday issued a ban on Mahadev Book Online and 21 other betting apps. This move comes after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) launched a probe following the raids on the unlawful operations of the betting app Mahadev Book Online, as well as the subsequent betting syndicate. Here’s everything that you need to know.
Ban on apps
In a release by PiB, MeitY announced that the ban was issued under Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act. ED has arrested two people related to the case. Accused Bhim Singh Yadav, working as a Constable in the Chhattisgarh Police force and Asim Das have been arrested “under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for the commission of the offence of Money laundering u/s 3, punishable u/s 4 of PMLA, 2002.”
Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “Chhattisgarh Government had all the power to recommend shutting down of website/app under Sec 69A IT Act. However, they did not do so and no such request is made by the State Government while they have been investigating it for last 1.5 years. In fact, the first and only request has been received from ED and it has been acted upon. Nothing prevented Chhattisgarh Government from making similar requests.”
This news comes after the ED claimed that Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Singh Baghel was “paid ₹508 crore” by the promoters of Mahadev Book app after questioning the accused Asim Das who “admitted that he was carrying ₹5 crore to deliver to the ruling political executives of Chhattisgarh”, ED said. Defending himself against these allegations, the CM remarked, “What can be a bigger joke than this?”
The makers of the Mahadev Book Online scam were arrested earlier this year under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Several high-profile celebrities such as Ranbir Kapoor, Kapil Sharma, Hina Khan, and Shraddha Kapoor have also been questioned regarding the case in which the app’s promoters have allegedly made nearly Rs. 4000 Cr. As of now, the ED has filed a prosecution complaint against 14 accused persons.