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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

`Mount pressure on Centre to ban online lottery'

By Our Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MARCH 15. The Finance Minister, Vakkom Purushothaman, has called upon ruling and Opposition members and MPs to mount pressure on the Centre to ban online lottery in the country.

He was replying to discussions after piloting the Kerala Gaming (Amendment) Bill and the Kerala Tax on Lotteries Bill in the Assembly today.

Mr. Purushothaman said that the Taxes Commissioner was a man of integrity and that he was convinced about it since the former had been working with him ever since he took over as Finance Minister. The Government was not ready to spare any effort to ban online lottery. Ruling and Opposition members and MPs should urge the Centre to ban online lotteries, he said.

The State Government had not entrusted lawyers to inform the Supreme Court that action would not be taken against those who had violated the Central Lottery Act, Mr. Purushothaman said.

Mr. Purushothaman said that his sons had online lottery agencies, but they had given it up on learning that they had been functioning in violation of the law.

Earlier, T.M. Jacob, Kerala Congress (Jacob) MLA, and V.D. Satheesan, Congress MLA, hit out against officials whom they said had functioned in an irresponsible manner putting the Government in the dock in the online lottery case. Mr. Jacob blamed the Taxes Commissioner and the Additional Advocate General, Rajan Jacob, for "failing to act and for incurring losses to the exchequer."

Appeal

When the online lottery case came up in the Supreme Court, they did not inform the court about the appeal pending in the High Court or about the memorandum submitted to the Centre by the Taxes Secretary on banning online lotteries. Mr. Jacob said that the Taxes Commissioner had failed to execute the High Court's interim order to take action against tax evaders. He accused the Additional Advocate General of inaction when the case came up.

The Bills were later referred to the subject committee.

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