Kishan Chand, 80, a native of Haryana, who has been on a sit-in dharna outside the state secretariat demanding the Rs 1-crore prize that he won from the Karunya Weekly Lottery draw in December, is one of the 50-odd winners from other states whose claims have been disputed over the past seven months by the state Lotteries Department. The reason for the state government’s reticence to part with the prize money - suspected money laundering.
The Lotteries Department had stopped paying prizes to outstation winners following media reports of business tycoons from other states ‘purchasing’ tickets from winners to launder black money. A Crime Branch probe was also ordered by the government even as four claimants moved the High Court for justice.
“As per the law there is no prohibition on persons of other domiciles to purchase tickets. But as there are a couple of cases in the High Court we are waiting for government direction in this regard,’’ Lotteries Director Biju Prabhakar told Express. The Lotteries Department had in January this year written to the government seeking a direction in this regard. The department has forwarded the claims to the government on around 50 cases and a few others to the Crime Branch.
The Lotteries Department also believes that several claims are suspicious. “We want convincing evidence that the winner had originally purchased the ticket from the state. There were instances in which some claimants left the scene when we asked for proof of their visit to the state,’’ Prabhakar said.
The department is quite suspicious of Kishan Chand’s claim as he had produced only a receipt from an agency for the purchase of ticket. It has also not helped
matters that he has made separate prize claims for other tickets of Rs 10,000 each in a short span of a few months. : P4