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Is the definition of lottery under GST discriminatory and violative of Articles 14, 19(1)(g), 301, and 304 of the Constitution of India?

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Court :
Supreme Court

Brief :
The petitioner, an authorized agent, for sale and distribution of lotteries organized by State of Punjab has filed this writ petition impugning the definition of goods under Section 2(52) of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 and consequential notifications to the extent it levies tax on lotteries.

Citation :
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.961 OF 2018

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.961 OF 2018
SKILL LOTTO SOLUTIONS PVT. LTD. ...PETITIONER
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA & ORS. ...RESPONDENTS

J U D G M E N T

ASHOK BHUSHAN, J.

The petitioner, an authorized agent, for sale and distribution of lotteries organized by State of Punjab has filed this writ petition impugning the definition of goods under Section 2(52) of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 and consequential notifications to the extent it levies tax on lotteries. The petitioner seeks declaration that the levy of tax on lottery is discriminatory and violative of Articles 14, 19(1)(g), 301 and 304 of the Constitution of India.

2. We need to notice certain background facts which has given rise to this writ petition.

2.1 The Parliament enacted the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998 to regulate the lotteries and to provide for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto. Section 2(b) of the Act defines lottery which provides that “lottery” means a scheme, in whatever form and by whatever name called, for distribution of prizes by lot or chance to those persons participating in the chances of a prize by purchasing tickets. Section 4 provides that a State Government may organise, conduct or promote the lottery subject to conditions enumerate therein. Different States have been organizing and conducting lotteries in accordance with the aforesaid Act. It is to be noted that prior to parliamentary enactment for regulating the lotteries, different States have enacted legislation regulating the lotteries which were the legislations even prior to the enforcement of the Constitution, levying tax on the sale of lottery tickets. Reference is made to Bengal Finance Sales Tax Act, 1941 and Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1939. Another Statute to be noticed is Bombay Lotteries (Control and Tax) and Prize Competitions (Tax) Act, 1958.

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on 05 December 2020
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