SC to hear all petitions on new lottery rules

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.

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