Indian Supreme court rejects crypto petition, highlights legislative nature

The Indian Supreme Court declined to consider a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that aimed to establish regulations and a framework of guidelines for cryptocurrency trading in India.

According to a report, the bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), after listening to the plea, remarked that the petitioner’s demands are more legislative in nature. Given the petition’s character, the bench, including Justice JD Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, dismissed the plea. The Supreme Court noted that despite the petitioner filing a PIL requesting regulations and guidelines for cryptocurrency and its trading, the underlying objective is to secure bail.

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Significantly, Manu Prashant Wig, the petitioner, is presently held in custody by the Delhi Police in connection to a cryptocurrency case. The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police filed a case in 2020, accusing Wig of enticing individuals to invest in crypto with promises of higher returns.

According to the report, Wig served as one of the directors at Blue Fox Motion Picture Limited, enticing individuals to invest. Subsequently, victims reported the fraud to the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) in Delhi. A total of 133 investors or victims who had invested their funds, filed a case stating Wig deceived them.

Seeking relief from judicial custody, the petitioner, Manu Prashant, filed a PIL demanding regulations and a framework for crypto trading in India. Despite the Supreme Court rejecting the PIL, the bench permitted the petitioner, currently in jail, to pursue legal remedies and approach other relevant authorities.

Related: India trained 3,000 police officials on crypto investigations in 2022–2023

During the court hearing, the bench led by CJI Chandrachud advised the petitioner to approach a different court for bail. Expressing reservations about the plea for crypto trading regulations, the court noted that such demands fall within the legislative domain. The court highlighted its inability to issue directives under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.

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The status of crypto trading in India remains debatable due to the absence of standardized rules, guidelines, or specific frameworks for handling cryptocurrencies. India is reportedly developing a cryptocurrency regulatory framework, drawing from joint recommendations by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB). The outcome could manifest as legal legislation within the next five to six months, as per Cointelegraph’s recent coverage.

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Author: Amaka Nwaokocha

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