Advocate Aditya Kadam says he has been investing in cryptocurrency since 2018.

MUMBAI: A city lawyer has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) for laws or a legal framework to be put in place to regulate use of cryptocurrency in India.

The PIL before Bombay high court highlights the unregulated business of cryptocurrency and seeks direction to the Centre, Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India, SEBI, and other authorities to take urgent steps to protect interest of citizens by formulating laws or guidelines to govern the use and trade of Crypto currency within the country, including a taxation mechanism for all such transactions within or outside the country.

Advocate Aditya Kadam says he has been investing in cryptocurrency since 2018 and given the lack of any regulatory mechanism seeks Judicial intervention to develop “a mechanism for monitoring international transactions conducted within the country by establishing a separate organization or by bringing cryptocurrencies under the scope of previously established bodies under Government of India.’’

He also seeks orders to regulate registration of cryptocurrency exchange platforms and a mechanism of redressal of investor grievances against registered trading platforms in India.

The PIL says “due to lack of oversight’’ mechanism in place, “it is advantageous to move unlawful funds out of the nation without facing any consequences. This will eventually result in emergence of a black economy which the government should contain before it spirals out of control.’’ The petitioner said his PIL is filed to “highlight underlying problems and uncontrolled, unchecked trades and malpractices in crypto currency trading.’’

The PIL also cites a March 2020 Supreme Court Judgement which had set aside a RBI circular and upheld contention that denial of access to crypto currency users would tantamount to a denial of fundamental right to trade or profession under Article 19(1) (g).

The advocate in the PIL recounts his communications with trading platforms and says “there is no particular legislation governing crypto exchanges’’. He adds that he will rely on “compilation of social media posts by different users to show’’ their grievances if necessary.

The PIL saus, “While trading on these cryptocurrency exchanges, the Petitioner discovered numerous legal flaws that put common investors at risk, as well as the Government’s lackadaisical attitude towards adopting legislation has led to failure to protect its citizens’ interests.”

The PIL filed on October 25 is yet to be listed for a hearing.

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