Make banking services easier for visually impaired: HC

Reserve Bank of India. (File Photo)

The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the Centre and the RBI as to what steps they intend to take in the future to make ATMs, online banking services and currency notes of Rs 50 and lower denominations, more user-friendly for the visually impaired.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to file an affidavit through its Deputy Governor on how they were going to make currency notes of Rs 50 and lower values easily identifiable by the visually impaired.

It posed the query after RBI said that notes of Rs 100 and higher denominations were identifiable by touch, but not the ones of lower denominations.

RBI said the smaller denominations can be identified by their smaller dimensions.

The court, however, did not agree with the submission and asked as to how a visually impaired person was expected to measure dimensions of a note when making transactions.

RBI also told the bench that it was in the process of developing a mobile phone app to identify the currency notes. The court questioned the move by asking, "will you also provide the visually impaired persons with a mobile phone free of cost along with every Rs 10 currency note?"

It directed RBI and the Centre to also state on affidavit how they intend to make ATMs and online banking services user-friendly by keeping in mind the needs of the visually impaired.

The court was hearing a batch of PILs, one of them by advocate Rohit Dandriyal, seeking to make currency notes and coins easily identifiable by visually impaired persons. 

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