A lawyer representing the Internet and Mobile Association of India has revealed that they have made progress in their petition to end the RBI crypto ban in India. This is according information they shared with News.Bitcoin.com
The Supreme Court to hear RBI case despite looming crypto regulation
According to the lawyer, the Supreme Court in India recognizes the urgency to hear the RBI case despite the Indian government concluding plans to introduce crypto regulations in the country. The court is expected to hear two cases related to cryptocurrencies.
The first case is regarding the crypto ban in the country by the Reserve Bank of India. The second case concerns the cryptocurrency regulation in the country by the government. The lawyer Jaideep Reddy, in this case, represents the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). This body is composed of local crypto exchanges and other companies in the country.
In the latest hearing, the Supreme Court stated that “the matter was actually heard for a reasonable period of time.” Accordingly, the constitutionality of the RBI circular differs from the decision of the Indian government to set up a committee to regulate cryptocurrencies.
To that, Reddy has pointed out that “the court in the last hearing appreciated that the issues regarding the RBI circular on the one hand, and the larger government policy decision on the other, were separate. After hearing IAMAI, it observed that the exchanges’ businesses are nearly shut as a result of the RBI circular, and that, therefore, the issue of the validity of the circular needs to be heard and decided without waiting for the government committee’s overall policy recommendation. The counsel for the RBI agreed to this approach.”
The lawyer further added that for now, they are insisting that the issues on the RBI circular should be heard. He stated that “the court needs to decide whether the circular is legally and constitutionally valid or not.”
RBI ban case to conclude next month
The Supreme Court has set the next hearing to the end of next month and is expected to end the case by then. Reddy noted that “while the judges orally observed that the matter should be placed on the top of the list […], the official order only states that it will be listed in the last week of February. The exact date and order of listing will become known once the official list is released closer to the last week of February.”
He added that “We hope for a detailed hearing in which the court will hear all the arguments for and against the RBI circular and ultimately decide whether to uphold it or not.”
There are numerous petitions filed against the ban by the RBI. Reddy told news.Bitcoin.com that “There are at least five petitions currently pending in the Supreme Court in connection with crypto-assets. Of these, 3 challenge the legal and constitutional validity of the RBI circular while 2 are public interest litigations on the broader issue of the need for crypto-asset regulation.”
He noted that IAMAI’s petition only challenges the RBI circular. He also stated that the petitions are listed simultaneously. Thus there is no issue of any petitioner leading the others. In this case, the seniority of the counsel influences who leads the arguments on a particular day.
RBI files counter-affidavits
Reddy confirmed earlier reports that the RBI had filed a counter-affidavit with the Supreme Court. He revealed that the bank cites various concerns associated with digital assets. He stated that “We have responded in detail to the RBI’s counter-affidavit by filing a rejoinder on behalf of IAMAI responding to each point. In our view, the mere fact that crypto assets have certain risks does not warrant a complete banking embargo.”
Reddy further explained that “Crypto assets also have benefits and are essential to the success of blockchain technology. The constitution requires that restrictions on fundamental rights be reasonable and proportionate.”
Reddy also confirmed that the Union of India had filed another counter-affidavit with the Supreme Court. He stated that “The Union of India (i.e., the federal government) filed a counter-affidavit in some of the other petitions regarding the status of the government committee’s deliberations on the legal issues surrounding virtual currency. No date was given by which the ultimate report would come out. However, the counter-affidavit states that a draft report and draft law are soon expected to be placed for the consideration of the committee.”