Newspapers to cease publication of Matka numbers

Six daily newspapers in Maharashtra have been ordered to cease the publication of “matka numbers”, India Today reports.

Matka is an illegal form of gambling utilizing numbers related to numerology and astrology.

According to a petition filed by Shrigururaj Dilip Pore, the press secretary of the All India Human Rights Association to the Bombay High Court, a number of newspapers were aiding and facilitating gaming by publishing Mumbai-Kalyan Matka betting/gaming charts in their newspapers.

“The results of previous day charts are published and numbers for the next day are also shown so as to help the common man to guess the winning numbers and bet for it,” said the petitioner.

The newspapers however replied by saying that the numbers were for astrology and numerology purposes, and that imposing a ban on the publication of the numbers would be in violation of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.

Despite this, the Bombay High Court bench determined that the case fell under Section 12 (A) of the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, and have ordered the offending newspapers to cease the publication of the numbers.