Illegal lottery: Plaint filed against Krishna with ACB

Illegal lottery: Plaint filed against Krishna with ACB

A complaint has been filed with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) against former chief minister S M Krishna (in pic) for extending support to the “illegal lottery business” in Karnataka.

The complaint, filed by the president of Karnataka State Lottery Sellers/Agents Association, C Ramakrishna, stated that the government had introduced online lottery in 2001 and simultaneously allowed single-digit and double-digit lotteries of other states to operate in Karnataka.

More than 100 lotteries of Sikkim, Nagaland, Bhutan, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Goa were allowed to operate without any revenue for the state government, the complaint stated, adding that the then state government had turned a blind eye and encouraged the illegal trade and economic offence.

According to the complaint, Krishna had made a statement saying that the revenue generated through lotteries – online as well as of other states – would be utilised for the benefit of the mid-day meal scheme.

“This statement by the then chief minister resulted in misrepresenting the people of the state and, on the other hand, allowed the illegal business to thrive. S M Krishna abused his position as the chief minister by making false statements and making people believe that allowing online lottery would fetch revenue for the state government and for social cause,” the complaint stated.

It further said that when Tamil Nadu imposed a ban on lottery, all the lottery traders shifted to Karnataka to run their illegal business. The Karnataka government encouraged lottery kingpin Santiago Martin by extending leniency and favour.

CBI investigation
The Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) is probing into the lottery scam in the state. Acting on a report on the scam, the state government had handed over the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on May 7, 2015. The CID submitted an interim report on May 22, 2015, mentioning the involvement of certain senior police officers. A senior IPS officer was placed under suspension based on the CID report and the government ordered a CBI investigation on May 26, 2015. The government order for CBI investigation stated that the agency would probe the lottery scam prior to 2007, the year lotteries were banned in Karnataka.

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