The Supreme Court of India has decided to put a stop on filing petitions against Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) April 6, 2018 circular directing to end all kinds of cryptocurrency dealings. As per various media reports, the Supreme Court has refused to stop RBI’s crypto ban and has also ruled that no further petition’s against RBI’s ban can be filed in any High Court. The Supreme Court has kept the next hearing on the matter on July 20, 2018.
Since 2013, RBI has been continuously issuing cautionary advice against crypto currencies in public interest. Ministry of Finance, Government of India had also constituted an inter-disciplinary committee to examine the regulatory framework with regard to virtual currencies. Post the meteoric surge of crypto currencies and start of new crypto exchanges in mid 2017, frauds and crimes increased and began the era of knocking the Supreme Court doors by various persons.
The first Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was brought before the Supreme Court by Mr. Vijay Pal Dalmia Advocate, by way of Writ Petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking a ban on sale and purchase of crypto currencies including bitcoin, litecoin etc in India. The said Writ was ordered by Apex Court to be treated as a representation and Reserve Bank of India was directed to examine the same and communicate its decision on the representation within a specified time. However, the RBI instead of clarifying its stance on the issue evasively responded while giving information about the appointment of Inter-Disciplinary Committee by the Ministry of Finance.
Developments in India
Though the Indian top court refused to grant an injunction sought by various crypto related businesses against the RBI’s decision, public outcry against the ban continues. Many of the high profile tech investors refer this as a ‘huge mistake’ that could cause a brain drain in the country. Also, it is worthwhile to note that despite its no tolerance stand on decentralized crypto currencies, RBI is reportedly considering issuing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Various media houses have cited that around seven (7) banks in India are working in consortium to come up with digital coins.