NEW DELHI: In contravention to the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1998, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is planning to sell lotteries during its Annual Welfare Exhibition-2017.
The Lotteries Act bans the sale of lotteries by entities except state governments, which can sell them in accordance with stipulated rules and the state insignia printed on tickets. Violation can invite criminal action.The CRPF lottery, titled Raffle Draw, which is slated to distribute 500 prizes worth `85 lakh this year, is part of an annual exhibition conducted by CRPF Wives’ Welfare Association (CWWA), headed by wife of the serving Director General of the paramilitary force. The entire official machinery and paraphernalia of the force is engaged for weeks together in preparation of the event. The event is tentatively scheduled to be held in November.
According to an internal document of CRPF accessed by The Sunday Standard, the first prize is a Suzuki Swift VXI car; second prizes comprise of four Enfield Bullet Classic motorcyles, 25 Hero Glamour motorcycles, 35 Honda Activa scooters, 45 laptops, 150 smartphones and 20 LED TVs. Other prizes include gold coins, Bluetooth speakers, watch sets and steel dinner sets.Public relations officer and deputy inspector general (intelligence) M Dhinakaran did not respond to queries. The public relations wing functions under the Intelligence branch.
When contacted, DIG (Welfare) Harsharanjeet Singh said, “The conduct of Raffle Draw is normal and it is being done for welfare. There are many other things being done by the CRPF and they should be highlighted. There is no corruption in the conduct of Raffle Draw.”
He, however, did not clarify as to why the Lotteries (Regulation) Act was being flouted and if any legal opinion was taken.
“Earlier too, the CRPF sold lotteries. Whether permission was taken or not is not clear,” said VPS Pawar, retired CRPF inspector general and chairman of National Coordination Committee of EX CPMFs Personnel Welfare Association. Meanwhile, CRPF officials claimed that CWWA is registered as a Society, but rules for running it have not been framed.The welfare funds are meant to be spent on the well-being of jawans incapacitated in action or families of martyrs. However, the funds are managed in a top-down manner with wives of top officials and officials of the welfare branch taking the call.Sources said the wife of a former DG had used the welfare funds for travelling across the country and another CWWA president had roped in an event management firm for a party.
The CRPF lottery, titled Raffle Draw, which is slated to distribute prizes worth lakhs, is part of an annual expo conducted by CWWA