High Court of Delhi Issues Notice to RBI

| Publish date: 04/23/2018 (Last updated: April 23, 2018 02:43 PM)
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The High Court of Delhi in India has issued a notice to the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Goods and Services Tax Council (GST Council) as well as the Ministry of Finance, stating that their decision to stop dealing with cryptocurrency related businesses has violated the constitution of India.

Protest against the Ruling

The RBI had recently passed a ruling that no bank in the country could deal with any business that was related to cryptocurrencies. This caused a huge furor in the cryptocurrency community in the country, with many firms stated that they would need to close down their businesses due to this ban. A petition was also initiated on Change.org to stop this ban, which has already garnered more than 43,000 signatures so far.

It is not just the cryptocurrency community in India that has revolted against this move by the government. Tech investor and cryptocurrency expert Tim Draper, who has had business dealings in the Indian market for many years, called this move by the RBI a “huge mistake”. He also stated in an interview that the Indian government’s stance about not recognizing cryptocurrencies as a valid and legal tender is “the stupidest thing”.

Petition against the Government

Then, last week, a cryptocurrency startup based out of the city of Ahmedabad, Kali Digital, filed a petition against the RBI’s ruling at the Delhi High Court. The company alleged that the RBI’s ruling was in violation of Article 19(1) (g) and Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

According to Article 19(1) (g), Indian citizens have the Fundamental right to conduct any occupation, trade or business. And Article 14 states that there cannot be any discrimination against equals.

Kali Digital has been setting up a cryptocurrency exchange called CoinRecoil due to be launched in August this year. Now, due to this ban, the company’s plans for its exchange operations have been crippled. The firm also stated that this ban is completely unconstitutional.

Sunplus Corp.

The petition accused all three government bodies of violating the Indian constitution. The reason cited was that the RBI enacted the ruling, the Ministry of Finance approved it and the GST Council has not put any tax guidelines in place for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

Kali Digital declined to comment since this matter is now sub judice, meaning it is under judicial consideration and so prohibited from public discussion. However, according to Mohit Singh, the CEO of Ovakil.com, the RBI’s ruling could also be in violation of Article 301 of the Indian Constitution. Article 301 says that citizens have the right to freedom of trade and commerce throughout the territory of India.

The High Court of Delhi’s notice, which was issued by Judge S Ravindra Bhat and Judge AK Chawla, has given the three government bodies till May 24 to respond to this petition.

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