SC Petitioned for Digital KYC Alternative to Support Acid Attack Survivors with Eye Disfigurement

SC Petitioned for Digital KYC Alternative to Support Acid Attack Survivors with Eye Disfigurement

A plea has been submitted to the Supreme Court via a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), advocating for the implementation of an alternative Digital KYC (Know Your Customer) or e-KYC procedure tailored for acid attack survivors facing eye-disfigurement.

On Friday, the bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Mishra mentioned the significance of the plea and consequently issued a notice to the Union government regarding the matter. They also announced their intention to address the issue in July.

In July 2023, a survivor, bearing severe eye-disfigurement and facial damage, approached ICICI Bank to initiate the process of opening a bank account, as stated in the plea.

Despite her efforts, she encountered a setback as she was considered unable to fulfill the Digital KYC/e-KYC process, primarily due to the bank's requirement for a "live photograph" which necessitated blinking her eyes.

As per the petition, complying with the RBI-regulated KYC process necessitates customers proving their 'liveness' by blinking before the camera. However, an exception was granted to the petitioner by the bank only after facing public outcry on social media regarding the issue.

The PIL highlighted that numerous survivors encounter comparable challenges. It urged the Centre to provide fresh guidelines concerning alternative methods for conducting the Digital KYC/e-KYC process for acid-attack survivors. Additionally, the petitioner emphasized the necessity for directing all public and private entities conducting Digital KYC/e-KYC to ensure the effective implementation of forthcoming guidelines.

The petition was drawn by advocates Nimisha Menon, Yamuna Rizvi, Ishita Soni and Pranya Madan and filed through advocate Nitin Saluja.

The plea was settled by Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra.

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