Only one lottery draw a week, West Bengal, Sikkim told

New Delhi, Nov 27 ( The Supreme Court Friday asked the West Bengal and Sikkim governments to ensure that their various online and other lotteries are drawn only once a week in accordance with the central law on lotteries.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice K.S.Radhakrishnan asked the two state governments to file a status report on periodicity of the draws of various lotteries in the states.

The bench asked if the two states were duly following and enforcing the Central Lottery Act, 1998, which provides that no lottery will be drawn more than once a week.

The apex court order is likely to heavily affect the lottery business in the two states, by cutting down their periodicity.

The bench’s direction came on a lawsuit by a former management student Bibhash Karmakar of Bombay University, who ended up spoiling his career owing to his addiction to the lottery, which he began playing in the hope of earning some extra money to meet his expenditure.

In his lawsuit, Karmakar contended it was a social malady, as tens of thousands of poor people get hooked up to online lotteries in hope of earning millions but end up ruining themselves.

He said online lotteries are drawn virtually every hour n the two states during the day, making the players addicted to them hope that fate may smile on them the next hour.

Karmakar cited the example of a railway coolie, who would often buy lottery tickets worth Rs. 2,000 a day and end up borrowing Rs.10 from Karmakar to pay the bus fare to return home.

His addiction had led him to sell all his wife’s gold jewellery worth Rs.200,000.

Arguing his case personally, Karmakar also told the court that he often found sex workers, spending their earnings, on the lottery.