The High Court of Delhi has reportedly issued a notice to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Ministry of Finance, and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council alleging that RBI’s decision to end dealings with crypto businesses violates the constitution, local news outlet Times of India reports today, April 22.
The High Court’s notice is reportedly in response to a claim filed by crypto company Kali Digital last week. After the RBI released a circular on April 5 stating that they would no longer provide services to a person or a business that deals in cryptocurrency, an online petition to reverse the ban was started, gaining over 43,000 signatures by press time.
Kali Digital, which runs the crypto exchange CoinRecoil, set to be launched in August 2018, filed an official claim on April 16, stating that RBI’s circular violates constitutional Articles 19 (1) (g) – allowing citizens the right to any occupation, trade, or business – and Article 14 – prohibiting discrimination between equals. The High Court of Delhi’s notice, issued by Judges S. Ravindra Bhat and A. K. Chawla, asks for a response from the three parties involved by May 24.
Kali Digital believes that RBI’s decision will prevent CoinRecoil’s business operations in an unconstitutional manner, according to an excerpt of the claim written in local news outlet The Economic Times:
“On account of the impugned circular, the petitioner will not be able to avail banking services to operate the cryptocurrency exchange ‘CoinRecoil’. Such banking services are imperative for the business of the petitioner. Consequently, the business [...] is stillborn.”
Kali Digital included the GST Council in the claim due to what they see as a failure to "frame appropriate regulation on crypto-currencies [sic] [...] [that] increased the uncertainty over treatment of such transactions and is adversely affecting the proposed business of the petitioner,” the Times of India writes.
Tech investor and crypto enthusiast Tim Draper had also responded negatively to the RBI’s circular, saying in an interview that the Indian government’s refusal to recognize cryptocurrency as valid tender is “the stupidest thing” and that he would have told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that RBI’s crypto ban is a “huge mistake.”