- India’s Supreme Court rejected a petition that sought to direct the government to frame legislation for cryptocurrency.
- As per the Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, the Supreme Court has no right to interfere in any legislature.
- Though the court said the main reason for the petition was to seek bail, it still allowed the petitioner to approach other authorities for the same.
India’s Supreme Court rejected a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) petition by Manu Prashant Wig, a director at Blue Fox Motion Picture Limited. The PIL aimed to direct the government and other relevant authorities to establish the basic framework and guidelines for managing the trading and mining of cryptocurrencies. The court rejected the petition, claiming that the petition seeks bail in the petitioner’s prevailing case and the plea is more legislative in nature.
Wig is accused of “attracting individuals to invest in cryptocurrencies with a promise of higher returns” and is presently in custody at the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi police. As per reports, Wig defrauded money from more than 130 investors or victims, and the victims filed a case against him at EOW in 2020.
The bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Mishra, after listening to the petition, asked, “Why should the Supreme Court look into this?”. Under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, the Supreme Court does not have the power to interfere with issues regarding legislature.
The court noted the underlying objective of the petition was to get bail, allowing Wig to approach other relevant authorities and pursue legal remedies. The order cited,
Although the petition is under Article 32 of the constitution, it is obvious that the main goal is to seek bail in the proceedings which are pending against the petitioner. We are unable to subscribe to this course of action.
According to the legislative research body PRS, “Courts have no authority to direct the legislature and frame a law.” Although the Supreme Court has challenged this separation of powers, the Indian government responded that only the parliament can frame or enact a law.
The status of cryptocurrency trading remains questionable due to the lack of proper guidelines or frameworks. In the recent G20 summit, India has made efforts to have its suggestions included in the framing of the global crypto guidelines. Although the guidelines for crypto are yet to be effective, India is making every effort to create a cryptocurrency framework with suggestions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB).