A ban on prisoners receiving newspaper racing sections was reimposed yesterday by the Court of Appeal, which warned judges not to tamper with government policy. The court ruled Mr Justice Raymond Sears was wrong to declare the censorship unlawful, unreasonable and in breach of the Bill of Rights. Mr Justice Henry Litton said prison rules gave the Commissioner of Correctional Services the power to remove the racing sections to curb illegal gambling. The censorship was wise and its introduction was a decision for the commissioner. Mr Justice Sears had made the mistake of stepping into the commissioner's shoes to consider the merits of the policy, the appeal judge said. The possibility the ban had failed to stop gambling in prisons did not provide the judge with a reason to lift it. Mr Justice Litton said if the courts interfered with policies on the grounds they were unsuccessful, the borders between judicial and administrative functions would be 'hopelessly blurred'. He said the Bill of Rights did not apply. The rights of prisoners could be restricted in law in order to maintain custodial discipline. The ruling was welcomed by the Correctional Services Department. Senior Superintendent Kwok Leung-ming said it would help prison officers battle the evils of gambling. He said the prisoner who had succeeded in having the ban ruled unlawful was suspected of being one of the ringleaders of gambling in Stanley Prison. Chim Shing-chung, serving eight years for drug trafficking, is being kept away from other inmates because of his alleged gambling activities. The prisoner, who claims he enjoys placing imaginary bets to help pass the time in jail, will face a legal bill estimated at several hundred thousand dollars. Prison service figures suggest there has been a dramatic increase in illegal gambling since the ban was lifted last November. Solicitor-General Daniel Fung Wah-kin QC, for the commissioner, said prisoners with gambling debts had asked for protection and their families had been threatened. Chim is one of 571 prisoners in Stanley, out of 1,986, who pay for their own newspapers.