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"There has to be some legislative mechanism. You can tell us that it is for you to decide whether or not you want it. But so long you don’t have a mechanism, how do you investigate people and keep them behind bars?", Supreme Court asked the Centre
The Supreme Court yesterday sought response from the Centre on its intention to regulate cryptocurrencies and criminal cases associated with dealing in such market.
With the growing intervention of digital currency in our everyday lives, the Top Court called it “unfortunate” that the Union Government has neither any legal framework to regulate transactions out of such currencies nor any expert agency for the same.
A Division Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Dipankar Datta, while hearing a petition by an individual booked in fraud cases related to cryptocurrencies, said, “You (Union) still don’t have any law unfortunately. Do you have an agency at the national level to understand these cases and investigate properly? We want you to identify a national specialised agency, in the national interest. What kind of a quality investigation can you expect when you have a police constable, who gets promoted to an assistant sub-inspector or a sub-inspector, to handle such cases?”
There are several investors being duped in transactions related to digital currencies, however, there is no mechanism still for its regulation, the Court added.
“There has to be some legislative mechanism. You can tell us that it is for you to decide whether or not you want it. But so long you don’t have a mechanism, how do you investigate people and keep them behind bars? It’s after all the country’s money, which is being siphoned off. It’s like Hawala. Who has the responsibility to stop it? We thought you will yourself come forward and provide some solution”, the Court told the Additional Solicitor General, Vikramjit Banerjee, representing the Centre.
The petitioner who was a resident of Delhi, was charged with the offence of fraud in relation to transactions in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Jharkhand.
He sought for the investigation of all the cases against him to be given to a single agency in one petition while asking for bail in another.
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