The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response of the Centre and the RBI on a plea seeking to lay down standards to make physical currency and digital means of financial transactions accessible to visually impaired people.
The plea, filed by an organisation working for empowerment of visually impaired people, also sought laying down standards for design of bank notes and coins and to provide technological solutions viable for the visually impaired within six months.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and VK Rao sought response of the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India on the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on January 21, along with two pending petitions.
Petitioner Blind Graduates Forum of India, a charitable trust working for empowerment and enablement of the visually impaired in the country, sought to stop circulation of the inaccessible physical currency and withdraw them in a phased manner.
The petition, filed through advocate Ila Haldia, said the plea was filed on behalf of over 52 lakh visually impaired people in India who are facing immense hardship in their daily living owing to inaccessibility of physical Indian currency along with inaccessible means of digital transactions and it has a direct negative impact on the independence and livelihood of such people.
The plea sought direction to the authorities to lay down standards as per the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act for banking services, portals, websites, apps, payment gateways, hardware devices used like ATM, point of sale devices, self-service passbook printers and cash collection devices to make them accessible to the visually impaired within six months.
It further said the directions be issued to the regulated entities to ensure compliance with the accessibility standards on information communication technology and physical environment notified under the Act and to conduct periodic audits every six months for compliance of accessibility standards by all regulated entities.