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Bombay HC seeks from Centre update on proposed cryptocurrency bill

The PIL, filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Aditya Pratap Kadam, claims there is an “imminent threat” of rise in the number of money-laundering cases, illicit trade of drugs and terror financing by trading of cryptocurrency.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: November 30, 2021 8:37:02 am
The bill also proposes to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, with certain exceptions, to promote the underlying cryptocurrency technology and its uses. (Reuters/File)

The Bombay High Court Monday directed the Centre to present its update on the cryptocurrency laws which it claimed will be tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament.

The directions were passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions from the Centre to enact a regulation on cryptocurrency in the country.

The PIL, filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Aditya Pratap Kadam, claims there is an “imminent threat” of rise in the number of money-laundering cases, illicit trade of drugs and terror financing by trading of cryptocurrency, which the authorities have “failed to curtail”.

Kadam in his petition sought intervention from the courts to formulate appropriate legislation and rules to protect citizen’s interest among other decisions. The PIL has named the Union government, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Reserve Bank of India and Securities Exchange Board of India as parties.

Kadam said the petition was filed to highlight the “underlying problems and uncontrolled, unchecked trades and malpractices” in cryptocurrency trading in India.

Advocate D P Singh, representing the central government, told the bench that Parliament’s Winter Session, which commenced Monday, will be discussing the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, which is listed in the session.

The said bill proposes to create a facilitative framework for creation of an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

The bill also proposes to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, with certain exceptions, to promote the underlying cryptocurrency technology and its uses.

The petitioner said a similar statement was made by the Centre in 2018 that it will be considering passing a bill, however, no action was taken in this regard.

The court, while seeking an update on the bill, noted it will consider the plea later and that allegations of the petitioner that the Centre is not taking any measures is incorrect.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on January 17, 2022.

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