In a bid to check the alleged illegal operation of paper loteries run by other States, LDF government in Kerala has registered a criminal case against Megha Distributors, the promoters and agents of Sikkim and Bhutan lotteries, for cheating the people.

Case was for operating two series ‘Super Delux’ and ‘Dear’ lotteries of Sikkim even after that government decided to discontinue that series, State Finance Minister T M Thomas Issac told reporters here on Thursday.

Criminal case would be registered not only against the employees of the company but also the promoter John Kenndy, Mr. Issac said. Accepting advertisements for these series also would be an offence, he said.

Alleging that Union government’s lottery rules were in favour of ‘lottery mafia’ in the country, he said the State government has decided not to accept advance taxes from Megha Distributors, for their draws from September till Centre confirms in writing that Megha Distributors were the sole agents of Sikkim and Bhutan lotteries and they were not violating rules.

Asked whether it was an indirect way of banning the lotteries, Mr. Issac said ‘one can assume like that also’.

Mr. Issac’s statement comes in the wake of congress led UDF Opposition’s charge that LDF government was actually encouraging lotteries of other States and was reluctant to take action against the promoters and agents holding that the owners were close to CPI(M).

He said as per the new lottery act of Centre, State government has no power to act against lottery promoters if they violate the rules.

State government has no means to verify whether Bhutan and Sikkim lottery tickets were printed by respective governments in order to ensure authenticity of lotteries, he said.

State government also did not know where daily draws were conducted, Mr. Issac said to a question.