The Supreme Court has declined to entertain a review petition by the Meghalaya government to reconsider its judgement, which declared that a state has got legislative competence to levy tax on lotteries run by other states in its territory.
A bench of Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna said: “Applications for listing review petitions in open court are rejected. Having carefully gone through the review petitions, the order(s) under challenge and the papers annexed therewith, we are satisfied that there is no error apparent on the face of the record, warranting reconsideration of the order(s) impugned. The Review Petitions are, accordingly, dismissed. Pending application(s) shall stand disposed of.”
The top court had passed the order on August 17.
According to the top court rules, the review petitions are considered inside the chamber of the judges on the basis of documents.
In March this year, the same bench had allowed an appeal filed by the Karnataka and Kerala against their respective high courts order, which held they have no legislative competence to tax lotteries run by northeastern states like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Sikkim and ordered them to refund the money.
The top court had noted that the subject ‘betting and gambling’ in Entry 34 of List II is a state subject. “It is now clear that ‘lotteries’ is a species of gambling activity and hence lotteries are within the ambit of ‘betting and gambling’ as appearing in Entry 34 List II,” it said.
“The division bench of the (Karnataka) high court were not right in holding that the state legislatures had no power to levy tax on lotteries conducted by the Government of India or the government of any state or Union Territory in the state of Karnataka as such a power could be read in Entry 40 or Entry 97 of List I and only the Parliament could levy such a tax.”
Both Karnataka and Kerala government sought to rely upon the Karnataka Tax on Lotteries Act, 2004 and the Kerala Tax on Paper Lotteries, Act, 2005 to impose taxes.