Mahadev app among 22 illegal online betting platforms blocked by MeitY | Mint
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Business News/ News / Mahadev app among 22 illegal online betting platforms blocked by MeitY
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Mahadev app among 22 illegal online betting platforms blocked by MeitY

The action follows investigations conducted by the Enforcement Directorate against an illegal betting app syndicate and subsequent raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh, revealing the app’s unlawful operations.

In December last year, ED started investigating banking transactions of ₹5,000 crore related to gaming application, Mahadev, that happened over a year across the country (Representative Image) (HT_PRINT)Premium
In December last year, ED started investigating banking transactions of 5,000 crore related to gaming application, Mahadev, that happened over a year across the country (Representative Image) (HT_PRINT)

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on November 5 issued blocking orders against 22 illegal betting app and websites, including Mahadev Book, which is at the centre of a political row in poll-bound Chhattisgarh.

The action follows investigations conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against an illegal betting app syndicate and subsequent raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh, revealing the app’s alleged unlawful operations.

The owners of Mahadev app are currently in custody, having been arrested under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for alleged money laundering.

The ED, earlier this week, said a forensic analysis and a statement made by a "cash courier" has led to the “startling allegation" of 508 crore being paid to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel by Mahadev app promoters.

“Congress government in Chhattisgarh has not spared any chance to loot you. They have not even spared the name of ‘Mahadev’," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on November 2, while addressing an election rally in Durg.

Baghel countered Modi over the issue on November 4, as he told reporters that the prime minister should order a closure of the Mahadev app. 

Also Read: Chhattisgarh CM alleges BJP-PM Modi links to online betting app: ‘Why was the Mahadev app not closed?’

"Why was the Mahadev app not closed? It's the Indian government's duty to shut down the app. I want to ask PM, what's your deal?... If the deal has not happened, then why are you not closing the app? If you are not closing the app, then the deal has happened," he told reporters.

Union Minister of State for IT and Electronics Rajeev Chandrasekhar, however, blamed the Baghel-led Chhattisgarh over the delay in the crackdown on the betting platform. 

“Chhattisgarh government had all the power to recommend shutting down of website/app under Section 69A (of) 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," he said.

The Centre, on the other hand, acted immediately after receiving a request to close down the app from the ED, the minister claimed. “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," he added.

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Published: 05 Nov 2023, 09:22 PM IST
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