Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday declined to stay its single-judge bench order of Monday restricting lottery draws in Kerala to once a week. It also declined to stay the court’s direction restraining the draw ofother state lotteries.
Upholding a Monday order directing lottery draws of Kerala and outside states like Bhutan and Sikkim to once a week, a division bench comprising T.B. Radhakrishnan and P. Bhavadasan passed orders on an appeal by Megha Distributors, promoters and agents of the Sikkim and Bhutan lotteries.
The two-judge bench also directed the Kerala government to receive advance tax from Megha Distributors for its weekly lotteries. The state government had in early August refused to do so.
On 30 August, Justice P.R. Ramachandran Nair of the High Court had directed the state Government to accept advance tax from Megha Distributors, promoters and agents of Sikkkim and Bhutan lotteries, for selling lottery tickets in Kerala.
Counsel for the state government told the court that it would file an appeal on Friday challenging the directive to receive advance tax from Megha Distributors. The case is expected to come up for hearing on 7 September.
The government presently receives advance tax of Rs7 lakh per weekly lottery draw and Rs17 lakh for a bumper draw. Following the court verdict, the Kerala government has brought down its draws to four a month from 30 till Tuesday. The reduction in the number of draws is expected to cause an 80% drop in revenue from Rs150 crore annually.