Yet to take a decision for regulating cryptocurrencies: Centre tells SC

Yet to take a decision for regulating cryptocurrencies: Centre tells SC

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  • January 20, 2024
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The Centre on 20 January told the Supreme Court it is yet to take a decision on a mechanism to regulate cryptocurrencies and effectively investigate related offenses.

Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee told a bench of justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan that the issues related to the digital currency are continuously evolving and the government is deliberating on the mechanism to regulate the cryptocurrencies.

Banerjee sought time to file an affidavit by the next date of hearing in the case giving an updated position on the mechanism.

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“So far as the stance of the Union of India with reference to the matters of cryptocurrency arising in different states is concerned, the Additional Solicitor General of India seeks and is granted four weeks’ time to file an appropriate affidavit,” the bench ordered on Friday.

Justice Kant, during the hearing, said the court only wants that there are appropriate safeguards to protect the common man from fraud and misuse of cryptocurrencies.

“We are not experts on what kind of currencies you should have or regulate. If there is no mechanism to regulate it, then anyone can create a currency and start transacting in it. It will be very dangerous,” the bench told Banerjee.

The ASG assured that deliberations are going on but it’s an evolving question and he will file an affidavit giving details of it on the next hearing of the matter.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on March 21.

The apex court was hearing a bail plea of one Ganesh Shiv Kumar Sagar booked for cryptocurrency fraud in various states like Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. He has also sought clubbing of various FIR lodges against him in different states.

The Supreme Court made the interim protection from arrest granted to him on July 27, 2023, as absolute after counsel for the Jharkhand government submitted that he has joined the probe into the case and fully cooperating with the investigating officer.

The counsel for Sagar submitted that he undertakes to continue to appear before the Investigating Officer as and when required till the investigation reaches a logical conclusion.

Earlier on 21 September 2023 Attorney General R Venkataramani, while appearing for the Centre, had said that the matter requires in-depth consideration at the level of the Union of India keeping in view the domestic and international perspective.

He had submitted that due deliberations will be made within three months and this Court shall be apprised of the outcome at the earliest.

On July 27, 2023, the top court had impleaded the Ministry of Home Affairs in the case and asked Banerjee to file a counter affidavit suggesting some comprehensive mechanism for effective investigation of the offenses relating to cryptocurrency or like.

It had granted protection from arrest to Sagar in a case registered at Ranchi.

With agency inputs.

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Published: 20 Jan 2024, 08:22 PM IST


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