The action comes after ED's investigations against illegal betting app syndicates. (Representational)
Illegal betting app Mahadev Book is among 21 software and websites blocked by the centre following investigations by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the government said in a statement today.
"The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued blocking orders against 22 illegal betting apps and websites, including Mahadev Book and Reddyannaprestopro," the government said in the statement via the Press Information Bureau (PIB).
"The action follows investigations conducted by the Enforcement Directorate against illegal betting app syndicate and subsequent raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh, revealing the app's unlawful operations," the government said.
The government action comes on a day when an accused in a money laundering case claimed that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had asked him to go to the UAE. The accused, Shubham Soni, who is wanted by the ED for alleged money laundering, made a video from Dubai in which he made the serious allegation against Mr Baghel.
The case involves allegations of money laundering and use of illegal funds during election against Mr Baghel, which comes days before Chhattisgarh is expected to vote. Chhattisgarh is the only state where the Congress is seen as being on a strong wicket.
Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar in the statement today indicated the Chhattisgarh government could have shut down the illegal app and website long ago as it "had all the power" to do so.
"The Chhattisgarh government had all the power to recommend shutting down of the website/app under Section 69A IT (Information Technology) Act. However, they did not do so and no such request is made by the state government while they have been investigating it for the past 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," Mr Chansdrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, said in the statement.
The government said an accused, Bhim Singh Yadav, working as a constable in the Chhattisgarh Police and another suspect, Asim Das, are in custody for alleged money laundering.