The much-awaited verdict was handed out by the India Supreme Court relating to the banning of banks dealing with crypto firms. The case was brought before the highest court in the land after the country’s top bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), put a blanket ban on all crypto dealings back in 2018.
After an outcry and both public as well as private petitions, a case combining both groups’ concerns was brought before the Supreme Court by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The hearings for the challenge were held over two weeks in January this year. The court’s bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman, S Ravindra Bhat, and V Ramasubramanian, delivered the judgment earlier today, March 4, litigation news site Live Law.
The Landmark Ruling
IAMAI is a not-for-profit industry body whose mandate is to appeal to governments on behalf of internet industry consumers, shareholders and investors. Members include Yahoo! India, Apple, eBay, Unocoin and Etsy.
According to Live Law, the justices ruled that the RBI’s action was ‘disproportionate’. One of the key arguments the central bank is that crypto was a digital means of payment. Being a digital means of payment means that the bank was empowered by law to intervene as it did. IAMAI’s counsel Ashim Sood countered by stating that cryptos could oscillate from being means of payment to stores of value. Ashim added that the central bank had no business banning financial firms from dealing with crypto firms.
This ruling has struck a blow to the RBI’s plans of introducing a planned controversial bill known as the “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies”. That bill sought to not only impose a complete ban on crypto in India. The bill also aims to establish the foundations of a state-backed “digital rupee” issued by the reserve bank of India.