Updated May 17th, 2024 at 15:07 IST

Alternate Digital KYC Process for Acid Attack Survivors: SC Sends Notice to Centre

A plea in SC said that acid attack survivors with enduring eye disfigurement are impeded from procuring SIM cards or independently opening bank accounts.

SC पहुंची बंगाल सरकार | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Centre, the Reserve Bank of India and others on a plea seeking an alternate digital KYC (Know Your Customer) process for acid attack survivors and individuals with permanent eye damage.

Terming the petition filed by nine acid attack survivors an "important issue", a bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra issued notice to the Union government, Reserve Bank of India, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and others on the plea.

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"We will issue notice. This is an important issue and we will hear it," the bench said.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by acid attack activist Pragya Prasun and others seeking an alternate digital KYC process for acid attack survivors with eye disfigurement.

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The petition stated that one of the petitioners, with severe eye damage due to an acid attack, went to ICICI Bank in 2023 to open a bank account.

The petitioner was unable to do so as she was incapable of completing the Digital KYC/e-KYC process due to the bank's insistence on completing the requirement of capturing a "live photograph" by blinking her eyes.

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The plea said numerous acid attack victims with enduring eye disfigurement and those facing similar challenges are impeded from procuring SIM cards or independently opening bank accounts.

The petition contended that these accessibility barriers inhibit acid attack survivors from accessing essential goods and services, which are essential to leading a life with dignity, autonomy and equality, and participating in day-to-day life.

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It said the Centre should expand or clarify the interpretation of "live photograph" to encompass alternative criteria beyond eye blinking, such as facial movements or voice recognition.  

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Published May 17th, 2024 at 15:07 IST