The high court has set deadlines for a forensic test on two West Bengal State Lottery tickets bearing the same winning number and for the government to pay the prize money of Rs 1.01 crore to the real winner.
Justice Sanjib Banerjee on Tuesday directed the Central Forensic Laboratory to conduct the test within six weeks and send the report to the state lottery department.
“The lottery department is directed to disburse the winning prize to the actual winner within four weeks of receiving the report,” Justice Banerjee stated in his order.
Tuesday’s order followed a petition moved by Ashok Dinrey, a resident of Nabasan village under Howrah’s Bagnan police station. In his petition, he had alleged that he had won the first prize in this year’s “New Year Bumper Lottery” but the state government was not paying him the money.
Dinrey’s counsel Udayshankar Chatterjee had earlier submitted in the court: “The result of the lottery was published on January 9 and my client, following the rule, approached the government for the prize money of Rs 1.01 crore through the State Bank of India within a month.”
According to the rule, the winner has to make the claim through a nationalised bank.
But till date the department has not paid Dinrey the money.
After hearing the submission, the judge asked the lawyer representing the state government to say why the petitioner was not being paid the prize money.
When the case came up for hearing again on Tuesday, state lawyer Abhratosh Majumdar said two persons had claimed the money by submitting tickets bearing the same number. So the department could not disburse the amount.
The lawyer then submitted that both tickets had been sent for a forensic test to ascertain who the real winner is.
The submission prompted the judge to set deadlines for the forensic laboratory to send its report and the government to pay the money to the winner.
The petitioner’s lawyer had requested the court to direct an independent agency to conduct the inquiry. “Let me see what the Central Forensic Laboratory report reveals,” the judge replied.
It was pointed out during the proceedings that similar cases had been filed in the court earlier, too. In one such case it was found that the lottery department had issued two tickets bearing the same number.