The Reserve Bank of India has been making the rounds recently, following the indirect ban the bank imposed on cryptocurrency related dealings earlier this month. However, the High Court of Delphi has now allegedly notified the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Goods and Services Tax Council and the Ministry of Finance that it believes the ban violates the Indian constitution. This comes following a petition intended to showcase the public support for overruling the ban. Moreover, a myriad of different cryptocurrency aficionados has joined in the public outcry over the RBI’s actions.
The RBI’s cryptocurrency embargo came in the form of an April 5th policy, which prohibited any Indian institutions regulated by the RBI from processing cryptocurrency payments. The policy shift also barred banks from offering assistance to or cooperate with businesses that deal in virtual currencies. This effectively shut down any Indian cryptocurrency exchanges to cryptocurrency investors, as traders became unable to withdraw fiat currency at crypto exchanges. Whilst this could still be managed through the use of peer-to-peer systems such as LocalBitcoins, it has made cryptocurrency trading and investing in India dramatically more difficult.
Nonetheless, the Indian crypto community did not sit idly by as these measures were announced. Rather, a Change.org petition was started, which argues for the RBI to reconsider the ban. At the time of writing, the petition has already racked up more than 43,000 signatures. However, the petition is not the only source of criticism. The owner of upcoming cryptocurrency exchange CoinRecoil, Kali Digital, recently filed a claim which argued that the actions of the RBI violate parts of the Indian constitution. More specifically, it reportedly does not prohibit discrimination between equals, and does not allow ”citizens the right to any occupation, trade, or business”.
The claim from Kali Digital is the reason for the High Court of Delhi’s involvement. The Delhi High Court has now asked for responses from the RBI, the Ministry of Finance and the Goods and Services Tax Council, in relation to the claims that the ban is in violation of the constitution. The three parties have until May 24 to provide satisfactory responses to the High Court of Delhi. It will be interesting to see how things unfold, and whether this can potentially lead to a lift of the unpopular ban.
Kali Digital argues that it is of imperative importance that the ban will be overruled. This is primarily due to the fact that CoinRecoil’s business model will be rendered moot if the ban is allowed to continue. The CoinRecoil exchange is slated for launch in August of this year – however, this will not be possible if Indian authorities stick to their previously held line regarding cryptocurrency.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.