According to local reports in India, the Supreme Court is nearing the final hearing on the petition that was filed against the banking ban placed on Bitcoin.
The Right To Petition
The push and pull between the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and the IMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) will be finally nearing an end as the two face off for the final time in the highest court in the land. Although the original final hearing of the petition had been scheduled to take place on the 11th of September, there have been two consecutive rescheduling on account of a backlog of cases in the Supreme Court and the delay of RBI in filing a response to the petition.
The Reserve Bank of India finally filled its response on the 12th of September, with the affidavit stating that the central bank would be reserving its views in relation to the ban on Cryptocurrencies. Instead, the affidavit said that as it stands there was no definition of Cryptocurrencies in any legal system.
The central bank also brought forth an argument on the interference in regulatory matters by the constitutional rights of the people. The affidavit stated that the petitioner could not seek the court to exercise its jurisdiction on a matter that the petitioner had no rights over. It went on to state that the regulation effected by the RBI was done in a manner that was in line with the powers which the central bank has been given by law pointing out that this was not only legal but also valid.
The Exodus Of Crypto Based Businesses
The central bank stated that the petitioner, IMAI, had failed to bring forth valid arguments with relation to the ban on Crypto banking saying that on this account the Supreme Court should not heed their pleas. However, the affidavit did not go into details about the nature of the arguments brought for by IMAI leading many to speculate on the central bank’s confidence in the case.
Many within the Crypto sector have opined that the Reserve Bank of India should not be interfering with the process of petitioning the ban as this is a democratic right that is in place to enable every individual to present their case before the nation’s lawmakers.
There is currently no legal framework that has recognized Bitcoin or any other Cryptocurrency mainly due to the fact that they are a new asset class. A number of nations have already embraced Cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology, Blockchain so much so that they are coming up with new laws to support this sector. India is however seen to still be resisting this sector, with many of its Crypto-based businesses moving to other jurisdictions with friendlier environments.
Crypto Market Still Operating Underground
Even with these restrictive laws and ban in place, the RBI does not seem to be very proactive with enforcement going by the number of Crypto businesses that are still operating on the underground. Many of these businesses are utilizing the p2p (peer-to-peer) feature in exchanges as a means of circumventing these laws.