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SC exempts lottery tickets from sales tax
February, 19th 2009

The  Supreme  Court has held that lottery tickets are not goods and thus are not liable for sales tax.

Dismissing a couple of appeals by the Kerala government demanding sales tax on lottery tickets, a bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat said that lottery tickets are not goods attracting sales tax as they are a mere piece of paper and have no value by themselves.

According to it, a lottery ticket is nothing more than a token representing a right to a conditional benefit of winning a prize.

"A lottery ticket has no value in itself. It is a mere piece of paper. Its value lies in the fact that it represents a chance or a right to a conditional benefit of winning a prize . It is nothing more than a token or evidence of this right," the apex court observed.

The court said there can be no doubt that on purchasing a lottery ticket, the purchaser would have a claim to a conditional interest in the prize money which was not in his possession.

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