Thiruvananthapuram: An 80-year-old man from Haryana has launched an indefinite sit-in before the Government Secretariat here alleging that the state Lottery Department has been denying him Rs 1 crore as prize money which he won from a draw seven months ago.
Kishan Chand, a travelling textile merchant from Panipat, said though he had made several representations to the authorities his plea had fallen on deaf ears, compelling him "to fight for justice in the Gandhian way".
When asked about the issue, state lottery director Biju Prabhakar said as per the government policy, Kerala lottery tickets are sold only within the state and the residents of the state alone are entitled to get the prize.
"This had been publicised through media releases and the agents had also been informed about the policy, which was put in place in view of large-scale illegal dealing using lotteries, including money laundering," Prabhakar said.
Kishan Chand said he had bought a bunch of tickets from an agent in Thiruvananthapuram last December while he was on a visit to the city as part of his business tour.
On finding that one of the tickets had won the prize of Rs 1 crore, he approached the authorities to claim what was due for him. But to his shock, he said, they denied him the prize citing policy objections.
Though he had submitted all relevant documents, the authorities clung to their position that his claim could not be met since he was a resident of another state, he said.
Kishan Chand maintained that nowhere in the ticket was it stated that the prizes were reserved only for residents of Kerala and as such this was "an unfair trade practice and double standard".
The lottery director, however, said he had reported Kishan Chand`s case to higher authorities and it was up to government to take a decision since it involved policy issues.