The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the response of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and State Bank of India (SBI) on a plea seeking to direct the authorities to revoke the prohibition on the use of UPI platform in dealing and settling funds in the cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX. A bench of Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to SBI, RBI, National Payments Corporation of India, and the Department of Financial Services and asked them to respond to the petition. The court listed the matter for further hearing on 24 December this year.
Petitioner Arnav Gulati, a law student, said he along with numerous account holders of SBI and registered users of cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX is aggrieved by the actions of the authorities which infringes his fundamental right of trade under Article 19(1)(g) and the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution.
Advocates Siddharth Acharya and Simarjeet Singh Satia, representing the petitioner, said 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 violating the Supreme Court judgement of March 2020. The lawyers said the PIL involved the interest of almost one crore retail investors of the WazirX crypto exchange platform and sought direction from the authorities.
"Later, 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," it said.
The plea said on 15 September SBI prohibited the use of the UPI platform for its account holders in the WazirX cryptocurrency exchange which has now been challenged.