"The writs were filed by the clubs with false information concerning indoor games. We are helpless if the court gives such orders," said Attorney General Mahbubey Alam
Clubs in the capital had been running illegal gambling in the name of indoor game for the past decade, acquiring a stay order from the High Court on drives by law enforcement agencies against it.
Drives by law enforcers on clubs during the tenure of the caretaker government in 2007-08, and in 2009 after the Awami League came to power, stopped gambling for a while.
The High Court stay order on these drives in 2010 and 2011 was imposed for three months after separate writ petitions had been filed by 12 clubs.
The court ordered the defendants not to hinder the plaintiffs' business without proper legal process.
It also issued a ruling, asking the authorities concerned to explain why these drives should not be declared unlawful.
Almost 56 clubs of the country have been continuing their unlawful gambling business in the name of indoor games because the petitions are still awaiting disposal.
"The writs were filed by the clubs with false information concerning indoor games. We are helpless if the court gives such orders," said Attorney General Mahbubey Alam.
"The final hearing will be initiated after the vacation of the Supreme Court," he added.
AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhuri was a senior judge in the HC in 2010 and 2011. He said the state should act swiftly on the disposal of writs.
"The court permitted three months. The clubs continued the gambling in the name of indoor games because there was no final hearing," he said.
Among the 12 clubs of the capital that filed the writs, police stopped unlawful gambling in Arambag Club, Dilkusha Club, Fakirapool Young Men's Club, Dhaka Wanderers' Club, Arambag Krira Shangha, Club Pavillion Fakirapool and Brothers' Union Club in the recent crackdown.
Sources say DTS Club, Azad Boys Club, BG Press Sports and Recreation Club, Bangladesh Muktijoddha Rehabilitation Society Krirachakra (Airport Command), and Muktijoddha Club will be raided by the police soon.
"From 2009 to 2014 more than 50 clubs obtained court permission to run indoor games. They showed the court orders if there was any police drive," said Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police Habibur Rahman, who was in charge of the media wing at the police headquarters at that time.
Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud was the lawyer for DTS Club, Azad Boys Club and Muktijoddha Club. He said writs were filed by social-welfare organisations to continue indoor games.
"The clubs are involved in a different sports league. They give money to the league from their income," he added.
Barrister Masud Ahmed Sayeed was the lawyer for Arambag, Dilkusha, Young men's, and Dhaka Wanderers' Clubs.
He said that indoor games in clubs are not just for making money. It is also for recreational purposes. It is the constitutional right of citizens.
Meanwhile, in 2014, the High Court declared various indoors games unlawful including one-ten, one-eight, dice and housie.
However, the order stated that with the permission of the District Magistrate, such indoor games could be arranged for a certain period.
The High Court bench of Justice M Moazzem Hossain and Justice Md Badruzzaman gave the verdict.
The verdict was given after a writ petition filed by Shipon Poddar, president of Ashulia Muktijoddha Rehabilitation Society, and Jafar Ullah, president of Muktijoddha Welfare Club.
"Many writs have been filed seeking permission for gambling. The HC rule stating that gambling is unlawful will be applicable to those. But the final hearing in the case must be held," said retired Justice M Moazzem Hossain.
"Gambling continuing in clubs is unacceptable. But some indoor games can be run if the administration allows it, following the overall situation," he added.