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Wednesday December 07, 2022

LHC seeks rules on cryptocurrrency from SBP

October 09, 2021
LHC seeks rules on cryptocurrrency from SBP

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the federal government to inform it whether the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has laid down any law or rules to regulate cryptocurrency in the country.

The court has also asked an additional attorney general to tell whether the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has taken any action in terms of section 14 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, against people dealing with crypto miners and traders and whether the FIA has the jurisdiction to investigate such matter and what action or step has been taken under the schedule offence of the agency falling under its jurisdiction.

Justice Jawad Hassan has posed these queries to the government while admitting a writ petition challenging the jurisdiction of a special court for banking offences to hear a post-arrest bail petition by a suspect arrested by the FIA.

The FIA had lodged the FIR against suspect Dr Muhammad Zafar on allegations of defrauding public at large in the name of investment in cryptocurrency to the tune of over Rs260 million.

On behalf of the petitioner, Advocate Javid Kasuri argued that the banking court had no jurisdiction to deal with the matter. He explained that the special courts were established with the mandate to proceed with the trial of scheduled offences as per section four of the Banks (Special Courts) Ordinance, 1984.

The counsel contended that the core point involved in the case related to issuance of cryptocurrency by the suspect who was neither a bank nor was authorised by the SBP or any bank, therefore, the judge of special court had no authority to deal with the matter. Justice Hassan admitted the petition for regular hearing and also suspended the impugned proceedings pending before the special court till final decision of the petition. The government law officers sought time to seek instructions from the relevant departments and the judge adjourned the hearing until Oct 20.

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