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Plea claims banking services not accessible to visually impaired; HC seeks Centre, RBI stand

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 10:23 -- geeta.nair


New Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response of the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on a PIL claiming that banking and financial services are not accessible for the visually impaired.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the ministries of Social Justice, Finance and the RBI seeking their stand on the plea by a visually impaired lawyer.

The petitioner, George Abraham, in his plea has sought directions to the Centre and RBI to ensure visually challenged persons can access online and technology based banking and financial services.

Abraham, represented by advocate Abhishek Jebaraj, has contended that visually appealing persons are "subjected to repeated and constant discrimination with regard to accessing online banking and other financial services.

This situation persists despite several government guidelines and a RBI master circular of 2015 that banking and financial services should be made accessible for visually challenged persons, he has claimed in his plea.

The petition further contends that of the lakhs of ATM machines, only a few thousand are voice enabled or have braille on the keys.

It has sought directions to RBI to ensure all banks comply with its master circular and that they put in place ATM machines which are voice enabled.

Apart from that, the petition also wants that bank websites and mobile phone apps are accessible by visually challenged persons.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on April 16. PTI HMP SA


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