Supreme Court issues notice in PIL seeking inclusive KYC for acid attack survivors

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Court has been told that the survivors have faced multiple obstacles with different regulatory authorities to access basic financial and telecommunication services

A PIL has been filed before Supreme Court seeking an inclusive digital Know Your Customer (KYC) process, accommodating acid attack survivors and individuals with permanent eye damage.

Despite multiple appeals for offline or physical KYC methods, both public and private entities have failed to address the survivors' concerns, the petition submits.

Filed by nine acid attack survivor, the petition has relied on personal experiences of the survivors, where they faced "indignity and humiliation".

CJI DY Chandrachud led bench issued notice in the PIL deeming it to be an important issue. "We will issue notice. This is an important issue and we will hear it," the bench said.

As per the petitioners, they have been prevented from procuring SIM cards or independently opening bank accounts. 

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

It has been submitted that these accessibility barriers inhibit acid attack survivors from accessing essential goods and services, which are intrinsic to leading a dignified life.

Case Title: Pragya Prasun vs. Union of India