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India’s Supreme Court dismisses PIL plea for crypto regulations

TL;DR

  • The Supreme Court of India turned down a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking regulations for cryptocurrency trading and mining due to allegations that the primary goal was to win bail for the petitioner in a connected case.
  • A crypto case has Manu Prashant Wig in custody with the Delhi Police.  Wig was accused by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offence Wing (EOW) in 2020 of encouraging individuals to invest in crypto for bigger earnings.
  • Although the Supreme Court dismissed the PIL, the bench allowed petitioner Manu to pursue legal remedies and consult other relevant authorities.

The Supreme Court of India has declined to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking guidelines for cryptocurrency trade and mining. The plea was heard by a bench that included Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Mishra. 

The court remarked that while the petitioner filed the plea under Article 32 of the Constitution in the form of a PIL, the primary goal appeared to be to gain bail for the petitioner in a connected case.

India’s Supreme Court will not hear anything about crypto regulation

The Chief Justice of India (CJI)-led Supreme Court bench, in response to the petition, stated that the petitioner’s requested reliefs are primarily legislative in nature. In light of the petition’s characteristics, the bench consisting of Justices Manoj Misra and JD Pardiwala dismissed the appeal.

The petitioner, Manu Prashant Wig, is notably embroiled in a crypto case that has been filed with the Delhi Police.  In a case lodged in 2020 by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police, Wig is accused of luring and convincing individuals to invest in cryptocurrencies under the guise of higher returns.

We are unable to subscribe to this course of action. The petitioner would be at liberty to move the appropriate court for the grant of regular bail. Insofar as the main reliefs are concerned, they are more in a nature of a legislative direction which the court cannot issue under Article 32 of the Constitution.

Supreme Court Bench

In the interim, Wig was a director at Blue Fox Motion Picture Limited, where he solicited investments from individuals; the victims subsequently informed the EOW in Delhi of this. The 133 investors or victims who placed their money in Wig reported being defrauded and filed a lawsuit against the company.

Petitioner Manu Prashant is requesting release from judicial custody in response to the PIL demand for crypto trading regulations and a framework in India.

Article 32 addresses the right to constitutional remedies, and 32 (1) allows citizens the right to petition the Supreme Court for the enforcement of their rights. The bench noted that among the reliefs sought in the plea filed by the individual from Uttar Pradesh was a direction to prosecute offenses involving digital assets/cryptocurrencies.

We accordingly dispose of the petition granting liberty to the petitioner to pursue his remedies in accordance with the law.

Supreme Court Bench

The Supreme Court grants the defendant liberty to find other legal remedies

Although the Supreme Court dismissed the PIL, the bench allowed petitioner Manu, who is currently imprisoned, to pursue legal remedies and consult other relevant authorities.

During the court session, the CJI Chandrachud-led bench advised the petitioner to seek bail in a different court.  Concerned about the desire for crypto trading laws, the court stated that the crypto framework guidelines demands are geared towards the direction of legislative works, and they cannot issue any directions under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.

You want bail from our court, you pursue your remedies before the appropriate court for the grant of bail. Why should we entertain? These are basically bail applications styled under the garb of Article 32 petitions. [..] Parliament will do it, we will not issue any directions.

CJI DY Chandrachud

Meanwhile, the status of crypto trading in India remains a contentious issue because there are no conventional norms, standards, or particular structures in place to deal with cryptocurrencies.  

Although cryptocurrency trading is allowed in India, there are no additional procedures in place to resolve any disagreements or concerns among traders. Because of this insecurity in the system, crypto trading is a danger in the country.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Florence Muchai

Florence is a crypto enthusiast and writer who loves to travel. As a digital nomad, she explores the transformative power of blockchain technology. Her writing reflects the limitless possibilities for humanity to connect and grow.

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