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Delhi HC directs Govt, RBI to consider recommendations for making bank notes disabled friendly

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:25 -- geeta.nair

A list of recommendations have been submitted before the Delhi High Court regarding the need for having special features on bank notes for the benefit of the visually challenged.

The recommendations have been made by Senior Advocate SK Rungta (who is visually impaired from birth) and George Abraham, who were appointed as the amicus curiae in February.Abraham is the CEO of Score Foundation – a non profit which works for the visually impaired.

In November last year, a public interest litigation was filed by Advocate Rohit Dandriyal seeking a direction to the RBI to withdraw the newly launched Rs.50 banknote as it allegedly does not have the identification mark for the visually impaired.

The Court had directed the RBI to re-examine the banknotes and had asked Senior Advocate SK Rungta and George Abraham for assistance in the matter.

The recommendations made by Rungta and Abraham are as follows:

  • The Government should be directed to provide distinguishing features in any bank note or coin which are identifiable and recognizable easily by the visually impaired persons.
  • Whenever existing bank notes and coins are withdrawn from circulation, they should be substituted by the bank notes or coins having such distinguishing features as recommended in this report.
  • The distinguishing features on the bank notes may largely be different shapes in the corner coupled with different sizes. Further, the colour of notes of different denominations should also be different. In so far as the coins are concerned, the shape of coins of different denominations should be different.
  • While issuing plastic currency/ bank notes, the Government should ensure that recommended distinguishing features are incorporated.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India to consider the suggestions pertaining to currency notes and place before it, a report in this regard.

The Bench further directed the Union of India to file a report with regard to the steps being taken for reducing difficulties for the visually impaired in identifying different coins.

The Court also directed the Ministry of Finance to analyse the feasibility of letting Rungta and Abraham examine a prototype of the proposed coins.

The matter will next be heard on July 31.

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