New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to
hear the validity of the amendments made by the Centre in the
Lotteries Regulation Act and directed the Sikkim and Bombay
high courts to transfer the petitions to itself.
Allowing the plea of the Centre, a bench headed by
justices Altamas Kabir and HL Gokhale also said the stay
granted by it earlier on the Sikkim High Court order on the
matter will continue.
The Centre had introduced some amendments in the
Lotteries Regulation Act by bringing in the Lotteries
(Regulation) Rules, 2010 with a view to balance inter-state
competition in lottery trade.
Some provision of the new rules were challenged by some
lottery agents before the Bombay and Sikkim high courts. The
challenged rules 3 and 4 of new regulation pertain to
directions on appointment of distributors or selling agents
and prize money.
These sections mandated that minimum sale price of a
lottery ticket shall not be less than Rs 2 and the first prize
in scheme should not be less than Rs 10,000. New rules also
make it mandatory for the states to specify qualification,
experience and other conditions for appointing distributors,
who also would have to furnish security deposits.
These provisions were challenged by agents in the Sikkim
High Court which in an interim order stayed new regulations on
April 8, 2010.
Later, Nagaland approached the apex court contending
that the the High Court erroneously stayed the rules framed by
the Centre. It also submitted that the High Court should not
have stayed ex-parte the rules without hearing other states.