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Lottery winner can't be denied prize just because she's the wife of a suspended agent: Kerala HC

The court said that the duty of the authority is only to find out whether the lottery ticket is genuine

Published: 22nd September 2021 08:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2021 08:18 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court (File Photo| A Sanesh, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has directed the state government to disburse the first prize amount of Rs 40.95 lakh to a woman who won its 'Winwin' lottery draw. The government had denied the prize amount to the winner stating that she was the wife of a lottery agent who was suspended for being involved in unlawful practices in the lottery business.

Justice PV Kunhikrishnan issued the order on the petition filed by P Shitha challenging the rejection of her claim by the lottery department. The result was published by the lottery department in 2015 and the ticket purchased by the petitioner was declared as the winner of the 1st prize. She had submitted the original lottery ticket before the Director of State Lotteries.

The petitioner submitted that she had purchased the lottery from an agent at Palakkad. Simply because the petitioner is the wife of the owner of a lottery agency named 'Manjoo Lottery Agency', against whom there are some allegations, the department cannot deny her the prize amount.

The court said that the duty of the authority is only to find out whether the lottery ticket is genuine. Admittedly, there was absolutely no dispute about the genuineness of the ticket produced by the petitioner. There is no law that prohibits the petitioner from purchasing the lottery tickets either from her husband or from any other person and claiming the prize amount in the event of winning a prize. If the allegations against the petitioner are true, the department ought to have registered at least a criminal case against her. No case is registered against the petitioner at the instance of the lottery department.

"When the petitioner produced a lottery ticket in accordance with the rules claiming the first prize, she is entitled to the prize amount, if there is no evidence to doubt the genuineness of the prize ticket," the court observed and quashed the government order. The court directed to disburse the amount after statutory deductions within two months.



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