The Bombay High Court questions the Reserve Bank of India on how can visually-impaired distinguish currency notes after receiving a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the National Association for the Blind (India). The PIL was heard by the Bench of Acting Chief Justice S. V. Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep V. Marne.
The PIL sought directions against the Respondents (Respondent No.1 -Reserve Bank of India) to display on record the steps undertaken to protect the rights of people who are visually impaired to have access to information about the currency notes and currency coins.
The Association also seeks direction against the Respondents to take action under the Indian Coinage Act 1906 to make disable-friendly currency coins and notes.
After the present petition was filed, the Reserve Bank of India, in the year 2016, has come out with some measures and series of coins for visually impaired friendly to their condition are also introduced details of which were provided in the affidavit in reply filed by the Respondent.
It has also been submitted that a Mobile Application has also been introduced for the blind. However, according to the counsel, some issues with regard to the operation of the application have been spotted. The errors are with regard to the volume and the application not being operational in crowded places and /or trains and buses.
As per the Counsel, the said difficulties still persist and the same are stated in the additional affidavit filed by Petitioner.
According to the Counsel for Respondent No.1, adjustments in the volume can be made in the application on the mobile phones along with an option for vibration mode is also provided in the said Application.
The Bombay High Court observed- Respondent No.1 certainly has to take steps so that the blind population can distinguish the currency.
“The Reserve Bank of India is also a party before the Delhi High Court. The moment, the report is received, the same shall be submitted to this Court by Respondent No.1, else, we will have to proceed ahead based on the averments made in the Writ Petition and the affidavits filed .”
The Bombay HC stands firm that there cannot be any dispute regarding currency notes and coins not being diable user-friendly.