Business

Erik Gibbs

RBI wants India’s Supreme Court to butt out of its business

Last week, cryptocurrency enthusiasts and entrepreneurs in India anxiously waited to see how the country’s Supreme Court would rule regarding the banking ban that was put into place by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Unfortunately, they would have to wait longer, as the courts, for the second week in a row, delayed the hearing until today. As the legal debate over cryptocurrencies rages on in the country, RBI has continued to try and sway the court’s decision, but now has taken a different approach—it wants the courts to stay out of the debate.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is one of the entities that has filed a petition with the Supreme Court over the RBI ban. The central bank issued a response to the petition on September 21, stating, “Inc42 has the copy of the petition filed by IAMAI as well as the response filed by RBI on September 8, 2018,” adding that the petition, in addition to others, “is not maintainable either in law or on facts and, hence, liable to be dismissed as such.”

The RBI ban was introduced at the beginning of April, setting in motion a legal fight that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The crypto-based companies argue that the ban is in violation of the Indian Constitution” and has already forced several companies to shut down.

According to RBI, “The impugned circular and the impugned statement neither violate the right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 or the right to trade and business guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution…The petitioner cannot seek to exercise the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court to avail a right which they do not have.”

It further states, “There is no statutory right, much less an infringed one, available to the petitioner to open and maintain bank accounts to trade, invest or deal in virtual currencies.” RBI also asserts that IAMAI and others “haven’t got any reasonable or tenable ground for interference by this court.”

Fortunately for the crypto companies, there has been a few ways to get around the ban. At the end of August, Coindelt indicated that it had relaunched support for the rupee and almost two weeks ago, Koinex announced that it had begun to offer deposits and withdrawals for rupees, allowing users to use their crypto wallets. As others find additional workarounds, cryptocurrency will certainly see a resurgence in the country.

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