The Delhi High Court has sought the position of the Centre, the Reserve Bank of India and IIT-Delhi in favor of setting up a committee to develop guidelines to ensure that financial services are accessible to visually impaired.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla issued an opinion on a request by George Abraham and said it expected the respondents to provide the names of relevant individuals who could be part of the committee.
The request is part of the petitioner’s plea to ensure that all financial services as well as bank websites, online banking and mobile phone apps for financial services are made accessible to people with visual impairments.
In his request, the petitioner stated that his concern is not about the lack of legislation regarding access to financial services for the visually impaired, but the lack of their implementation, including the main RBI circular.
Abraham argued that these laws are implemented haphazardly despite the fact that the RBI has broad powers to enforce compliance with its directives, such as imposing financial sanctions.
“For example, while some internet banking apps and ATMs have good accessibility, many are still not accessible. Some financial services used by the public, such as digital payment wallets or ATMs of payment, seem to offer no access to visually impaired people”, the means stated.
The petitioner therefore suggested that a committee be appointed to formulate measures and guidelines to address issues regarding access to financial services for the visually impaired.
Abraham further suggested that the committee could include government and RBI officials as well as people with technological expertise from all reputable institutions such as IIT, visually impaired people and an amicus curie to assist the committee and the court.
“This approach can guide this honorable court in its efforts to uphold the rights guaranteed to India’s 12 million blind and 50 million visually impaired people under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution and Sections 3(1) , 13(1) and (2) and 42 of the Disability Rights Act 2016,” the plea reads.
The case will be heard on May 26.
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