Recently, the Delhi court addressed the case Hitesh Bhatia v. Mr Kumar Vivekanand and ordered the Moti Nagar Police Station to list an FIR against the illegal transactions made by the accused concerning the Bitcoin purchase. The FIR to be registered based on the complaint made by one Bitcoin seller.
The complainant placed this matter before the Metropolitan Magistrate Abhinav Pandey. He directed to conduct an investigation based on the claims made by the complainant Binance, which is a portal enabling the online sale and purchase of Bitcoins. The complainant stated that the accused used to buy bitcoins on several occasions and paid the fund into his bank account through an online transaction portal known as Binance, a portal enabling the online sale and purchase of Bitcoins. Further, the complainant said that his bank account got freeze and the bitcoin transactions turned out to be illegal. The accused also acknowledged that those payments were a scam. The complainant sought the intervention of the judiciary after the police failed to take any action regarding the same. He prayed before the Delhi court to issue an order directing the police to commence a criminal case following a proper investigation.
The court noted that there's no restriction on the use of cryptocurrency in India as of today. So, the general laws dealing with online and virtual transactions should govern the cryptocurrency. The court found the Binance failed to fulfil the responsibility of providing security against illegal activities. It would be justified to set up an inquiry to determine the negligent act of an intermediary.
The court stated: "Opportunistic activities, aimed at exploiting the lack of legal regulation, with utter disregard to the identity of parties, sources and destination of funds, and illegal purposes e.g. terrorism, narcotics, illegal arms, cross-border illegal transactions for which it may be used, still do not enjoy any route for legal and regulatory escape."
The Judge further said: "There is a possibility that the complainant was unaware of these designs of the accused, and fell into his trap, thereby suffering wrongful loss. At the same time, it seems that the complainant has not disclosed the complete facts before this Bench, and therefore, the possibility of his consent/ connivance in the entire gamut of activities, cannot be ruled out at this stage."
After considering the facts of this case, the Delhi court highlighted the necessity for investigation and ordered the police to register an FIR and investigate to obtain the real facts.