Crypto in India: CASC files Application in Supreme Court Seeking Ban on WhatsApp’s Payment pilot project

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Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change(CASC) filed a PIL (Public interest litigation) before the Supreme Court last year against WhatsApp Pay, where CASC has sought an immediate rollback of the WhatsApp payments pilot project.

 

What is a PIL?

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is a legal action that is initiated in a court of law for the enforcement of general interest or Public interest in which the public has a pecuniary interest by which their liabilities or legal rights are affected.

Individuals and groups can directly file interest litigation with Supreme court, apart from the Supreme Court of India, The High Courts, as well as the Judicial members, are capable of accepting the litigation files.

 

Let’s Understand what WhatsApp Pay is?

WhatsApp pay is an application designed to run on the UPI (Unified payments Interface), which is developed by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India).UPI allows users to pay others or do business transactions Through their business accounts.

WhatsApp has been working on a pilot project with 1 Million users since 2018, while it has yet to receive the permissions to do a full rollout with all 400 Million Indian users. CASC reported that according to RBI’s affidavit to Supreme Court in November, WhatsApp could not fully compile with the rules.

 

What are the Actions taken on WhatsApp?

In an application filed on Monday, CASC has urged the apex court to stop WhatsApp’s trial with a count of 1 Million users, Direct the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to put on the record permission granted for the trial and to disclose all the communications between WhatsApp and the National Payments Corporation Bank of India (NCPI)

While the conflict was largely about non-compliance to data localization policies and fears that the sensitive personal data, including financial transactional data, would be shared with Facebook and cannot be stored outside India, stated in contravention to the RBI circular.

Among other objections, CASC said that in any case, there could not be a blanket for trials, and the same should be restricted by duration, the number of banks involved, and monetary limits.

As per a report, NPCI gave its approval to WhatsApp payments, but in a phased manner, WhatsApp will reportedly be allowed to open its services initially for 10 Million users, further will only be allowed a full rollout after WhatsApp adheres to all pending complaints, if any.

WhatsApp also reportedly assured RBI, NPCI, and other regulators of complying with data localization norms.

 

Conclusion:

On an application filed by CASC against WhatsApp regarding WhatsApp’s payment pilot project, WhatsApp reportedly assured RBI, NPCI, and other regulators that it would take the matter sensitively and adhere to all the privacy and data localization norms.

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