Following the ban made by the Reserve Bank of India on, July 5, against regulated financial institutions, which includes banks from providing services to business in the cryptocurrency sector; the Indian Supreme court has upheld the central bank’s ban before its final hearing on September 11.
On Friday, ISC held its latest hearing of the much-anticipated case against the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) circular forbidding all regulated entities, including banks, from providing services to business in the dealing of digital currencies. The policy which was introduced in April, earlier this year only came into effect some fortnight ago. The policy also incredulously forbade banks from allowing their own retail customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies through their bank accounts.
‘Limited arguments’ which were put forward by both the petitioner and RBI were heard by the court; the petitioner of the case being the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). To the chagrin of Indian cryptocurrency traders, the court adjourned the case for final arguments on September 11, 2018.
The adjournment was because vital stakeholders like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) were yet to file their responses to the petition. This means Indian cryptocurrency traders and enthusiasts would have a fair amount of waiting to do!
The court, however, mandated that all outstanding responses are filed within the coming four weeks. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, as well as Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar, presided over the hearing, the names on the three-judge bench suggesting just how significant the case is. This news was confirmed by Crypto Kanoon, a team of lawyers engaged in the virtual currency market. Having followed the Indian cryptocurrency debacle consistently over some time, they subsequently tweeted:
“Limited arguments were advanced on behalf of IAMAI and RBI today. Since SEBI and few others have not filed their response to the Petition seeking regulation, so the Court directed for completion of pleadings. Final arguments on 11th September.”
Cryptocurrency Ban by RBI May Set India Back
Gopal Subramaniam, who is the lead counsel representing IAMAI, reiterated during the hearing that RBI’s ban would gravely set India back compared to other fast-growing countries that continue to embrace cryptocurrency and its stunning benefits.
Also, it is important to note that since the ban started, Indian traders have been forced to depend on P2P exchange platforms. However, there have been reports suggesting that the government is seriously considering classifying cryptocurrencies as commodities instead.
Whatever happens, the whole of India and other stakeholders now await the seeming judgment day of September 11.