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India's Supreme Court adjourns crypto ban case until January 2020

Fri, 09 Aug 2019, 03:47 am UTC

The Indian Supreme Court has heard and adjourned the “Crypto vs. Reserve Bank of India (RBI)” case until January 2020, Amb Crypto reported citing crypto advocate and Crypto Kanoon co-founder Mohammed Danish.

As per the report, the case was divided into two by the apex court. The first part covered the case related to the banning of cryptocurrency that is scheduled to be heard early next year. The second part was between the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the RBI related to the crypto banking ban that was heard on Thursday.

During the hearing of the public interest litigation filed by the IAMAI against the RBI, representatives of the not-for-profit industry body allegedly questioned the authority of the RBI to impose a crypto ban. They also stressed that if cryptos were to be treated as commodities, then the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and not the RBI, holds the jurisdiction.

The counsels also pointed out that the role of the RBI was only to delegate power, which the Parliament holds. Thus, it cannot exercise any power if it can directly affect legitimate businesses. The report revealed that several cryptocurrency exchanges have shut down following the banking ban, including Zebpay and Koinex. The court reportedly took note of the losses suffered by the Indian crypto-businesses.

However, no verdict was reached and the proceedings will resume on August 14, 2019.

Meanwhile, legal advisors of the government also purportedly asked the Supreme Court to adjourn the crypto ban case until next year. This is to give the government time to deliberate the draft bill during the upcoming winter session.

Crypto exchanges in India have been facing a year-long battle after an RBI circular, which took into effect on July 2018, imposed a ban for regulated financial institutions to provide services for crypto-related businesses. Several industry stakeholders filed writ petitions to challenge the circular. The petitions were initially scheduled to be heard last September, but the case was continually postponed.

Last Thursday’s hearing was the first since the proposed draft bill from the inter-ministerial committee was released in public.

Meanwhile, the crypto community in India is increasing its efforts to sway the government to reconsider its decision of banning cryptocurrencies in the country, with many calling it as “flawed” as it failed to get their insights. The crypto community plans to initiate letter-writing and Twitter campaigns and appeal to both local and international media to help transmit its message to authorities.

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