The Delhi High Court on Friday observed that vision-impaired people are finding it difficult to use newly introduced currency notes, and issued notices to the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India, PTI reported.
The court said the matter was of “grave public interest” and should be addressed seriously. Many visually-impaired people in the country were facing problems, the court said. “In our interaction with such people, they told us that they are facing huge difficulty due to the change of size of notes also,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.
The High Court was hearing a plea filed by the non-government organisation All India Confederation of Blind. The petition had said that visually impaired people were facing difficulties while identifying, using and making transactions with the new Rs 2,000, Rs 500, Rs 200 and Rs 50 denomination notes.
On November 8, 2016, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were no longer legal tender, and the government would introduce new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. People were asked to swap old notes for the new ones. In August, it introduced new Rs 50 and Rs 200 notes.
The petitioner also asked the government to replace Rs 10, Rs 5, Rs 2 and Rs 1 coins as they were of a similar structure. Vision-impaired people have to rely on others to conduct their daily financial transactions, the plea said.
The petition had said the new notes did not comply with the accessibility standards for persons with disabilities. Moreover, the petitioners had said, the tactile marks present on some notes were hardly identifiable, and they would fade with usage.
It asked the court to direct the authorities to replace the notes with bills that can be easily identified, in a phased and time-bound manner. The High Court will hear the matter next on December 6.