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"A Matter of Chance" continues......
As such, a lottery is a fraudulent public practice because it leads people to pay for a game in which there is no subtlety—namely, that the lottery keeper keeps the biggest prize.
The subject of lottery figures in the Union list of the Constitution of India in Entry No. 40 of the Seventh Schedule. However, curiously, the Centre had not legislated on the subject, thereby leaving the ground clear for a free-for-all situation. This was the beginning of all the troubles in the Indian context. If the Central government had spelt out the dos and don’ts for the lottery trade and had enabled law enforcement agencies to come down heavily on violations, the large-scale loot of people would have stopped. In the absence of any legislation, some state governments, such as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, enacted their own laws. For instance, Section 3 of the Andhra Pradesh Lotteries Act of 1968 declares that all lotteries are unlawful. However, under Section 24, the Act gives some exemptions to a lottery whose net proceeds are to be used for charitable or educational purposes. Under the garb of this provision, several lotteries run by unscrupulous individuals got authorizations from the AP government and ran private lotteries. Some such lotteries that came to adverse notice were:
1. All India Deaf and Dumb Society
2. Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association
3. Urban and Rural Development Scheme
4. Share Medical Care
Section 294 A of the Indian Penal Code provides that running of any lottery that is not a state lottery or a lottery authorized by the state government is an offence.
However, Section 294 A is non-cognizable and bailable, which means that the police cannot take action without a court’s permission and the accused, if arrested, has to be released on bail immediately.
By several judicial pronouncements and orders of the government, both state and Central, only a lottery that is initiated and managed by the state government is permissible. The rest come under the category of private lotteries, which are banned.
To be continued.....