- Apprentice Lawyer
In a first, a representative suit has been filed before a Delhi Court alleging cryptocurrency fraud by a trading platform, IQ Option (Achin Sharma vs IQ Option Europe).
To invite the grievances of all sufferers, Vandana Jain, Additional District Judge, Saket Courts directed that a public notice of the suit be published in newspapers.
"..present suit is treated as a representative suit, however, in order to invite the grievances of other sufferers, public notice is being issued in the aforesaid newspapers i.e. one is in English language in Times of India, one in Hindi language in Dainik Bhaskar, one in Bangala language in Anand Bazar and one in Patrika, national daily newspaper. Plaintiff is directed to ensure that public notice should be published in all the editions of all the four newspapers as well as in the newspaper," the order said.
IQ Option, which claims to have over 40 Million registered accounts, facilitates crypto currency trading. It is the plaintiff, Achin Sharma's grievance that IQ Option defrauds its customers by using a complex scheme of algorithmic manipulation.
The plaintiff has submitted that IQ Option not only charges an exorbitant amount as hidden facilitation fees at the time of making deposit but also prevents its customers from withdrawing their own hard-earned money.
".. (IQ OPtion) has resorted to cheating and duping thousands of Indian citizen who are lured to transact in crypto curreincies through targeted artificial intelligence marketing and flashy webpages," the plaintiff has argued.
The plaintiff claims that thousands of other people, including himself, are aggrieved by the action of IQ Option.
To substantiate his claim, the plaintiff has filed copes of screenshots taken from Quora, Twitter, Google Play Store and other websites wherein people commented upon the fraud played by IQ Option and their inability to withdraw the money from their own accounts.
The plaintiff has sought issuance of a public notice inviting grievances from public in order to make it an effective representative suit.
As a remedy in the suit, the plaintiff has prayed for a permanent injunction to block all access to the IQ option website, mobile applications or any other hydra-headed websites/mobile application or mirror links.
Direction has also been sought to restrain IQ Option and its related entities from operating their business in the territory of India through any mode.
Advocate Nipun Saxena appeared with Advocate Serena Sharma for the plaintiff.
The matter would be heard next on March 30.
Last year, the Supreme Court had struck down a Reserve Bank of India circular barring banking and financial services from dealing in transactions involving virtual currency or cryptocurrency such as BitCoin.