Sunday 11 May 2014

Lottery prize denial to outsiders is breach of contract: HC

KOCHI: Denial of prizes for lotteries issued by the Kerala government to winners from other states would amount to breach of contract, the Kerala high court has held.

The ruling by Justice A M Shaffique came after considering a petition filed by Hamid Kalanther Kaka of Mysore.

In the petition filed to the high court through advocate U P Balakrishnan, it was alleged that the Kerala government is not paying him the prize for his ticket after winning it (Pratheeksha lottery), which has a first prize of Rs 75 lakh. Though the ticket was submitted to the lottery directorate, the money hasn't been paid so far, it was alleged.

The government filed a counter affidavit contending that there had been large scale manipulations in the purchase and sale of lottery tickets and that people from outside the state are seen as winners in most of the lotteries.

A police investigation into it is going on and the petitioner's claim has to be verified regarding its genuineness, the government argued. Moreover, the lottery is sold only within Kerala and therefore, the possibility of people from outside the state purchasing the lottery is remote, the government submitted.

Declining to entertain the government's view, the court held, "It is true that lottery is for sale only within the state of Kerala. But that does not mean that a person who resides outside the state cannot come and purchase a lottery within the state of Kerala. There is no such restriction to pay prized amount to any other person residing outside the state of Kerala. The very concept of lottery is to pay prized amount to the holder of the lottery ticket. Failure to do so amounts to breach of contract."

Though the lottery's draw was held on October 17, 2011, police investigation so far did not reveal any manipulation by the petitioner, the court pointed out while ordering the government to pay the prize to the petitioner after verifying the documents produced by him.
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