Delhi HC Issues Notice to RBI, SBI over UPI Payments Prohibition

Chaini Parwani –

Published On: October 29, 2021 at 14:10 IST

The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued Notice to the Reserve Bank of India and State Bank of India on a Petition pleading to direct the authorities to annul the prohibition on the use of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform in dealing and settling funds in the Cryptocurrency exchange ‘WazirX’.

A Bench comprising of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought response to State Bank of India (SBI), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), National Payments Corporation of India, and the Department of Financial Services and directed them to acknowledge to the Petition.

The Petitioner Arnav Gulati, a law student, along with almost one crore retail investors who are also account holders of SBI and registered users of Cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, noted that their Fundamental Right of Trade under Article 19(1)(g) and the Right to Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution are Violated by the Authorities.

The Petition stated that in April 2018, RBI had passed a Notification prohibiting all the banks to deal with any virtual currency or supply services for expediting any person or entity in dealing with or settling them including Bitcoins.

The Plea observed that thereafter, all the transactions related to Cryptocurrencies via Banking Institutions were stopped, which involved Maintaining Accounts, Registering, Trading, Settling, Clearing, giving loans against Virtual Tokens, accepting them as Collateral, Opening Accounts of Exchanges dealing with them, and Transfer/ Receipt of money in accounts relating to Purchase/ Sale of Virtual Currencies.

Further the Petition highlighted “The Supreme Court in March 2020 passed a final order nullifying the circular of RBI and paving the way for banks and their customers to deal in cryptocurrency. On the basis of the said order, the RBI issued another circular allowing the institutions under it to deal and facilitate transactions in virtual currencies.”

Furthermore, Advocates Siddharth Acharya and Simarjeet Singh Satia, representing the Petitioner, stated that the Petition has been filed against the Arbitrary Action taken by SBI to block the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) Services for the WazirX (leading cryptocurrency exchange) users Infringing the Supreme Court Judgement of March 2020.

The Petition sought direction to RBI to regulate and govern the Cryptocurrency Sector and thereby make Provisions for the payment interfaces and decisions.

Lastly, The Court posted the Matter for a further Hearing on December 24.

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