The Supreme Court of India has ruled not to grant interim relief to those affected by the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related businesses, Quartz India reports today, July 3rd.
The Supreme Court has thus yet again refused to stay RBI’s April 6 circular, which had directed all banks to extract themselves from existing relationships with crypto exchanges and traders within three months, due to take effect July 6th.
The central bank’s controversial blockade has prompted both public and industry-led petitions, with some appealing to the courts on the grounds that the decision is unconstitutional.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which counts as its members several of the crypto exchanges challenging RBI’s stance, requested today’s early hearing at the Supreme Court. The court had set an initial date of July 20, two weeks after the ban will have taken effect.
At a previous petition hearing on May 17, IAMAI was reportedly requested to submit a representation against the central bank. Nischal Shetty, CEO of crypto exchange WazirX, is quoted by Quartz India saying:
“We had submitted a detailed presentation that could have given RBI a clearer picture on what is blockchain, how the exchanges work, etc. But we hadn’t heard back from them yet. Today, the supreme court has also directed the RBI to respond to those representations made by the firms in the next seven days.”
A Twitter post from a team of Indian lawyers involved in crypto regulatory analysis confirms that the Supreme Court has today directed RBI “to respond with reasons” to the IAMAI’s representation. The Supreme Court will hear existing petitions at the aforementioned July 20 hearing.
Notwithstanding its hardline stance against decentralized cryptocurrencies, RBI is said to be considering issuing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Some remain optimistic about the country’s future in crypto, with Ripple (XRP)’s global head of infrastructure innovation saying earlier this month that he expects a positive regulatory framework to be forthcoming from RBI in the longer term.