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Digital KYC Process Challenged for Acid Attack Survivors: Supreme Court Seeks Government Response

Supreme Court to Consider Alternative Digital KYC for Acid Attack Survivors

The Supreme Court has requested the Central government to provide a response to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking an alternative Digital KYC (Know Your Customer) or e-KYC process for acid attack survivors with eye-disfigurement.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Mishra, acknowledged the significance of the issues raised in the petition and scheduled a hearing for July.

The PIL, filed by Advocate Nitin Saluja, highlighted the case of an acid attack survivor with severe eye-disfigurement and facial damage who encountered difficulties in completing the Digital KYC/e-KYC process while opening a bank account at ICICI Bank in July 2023. The bank insisted on capturing a “live photograph” by requiring the petitioner to blink her eyes, which she was unable to do due to her condition. Despite the issue gaining attention on social media, the bank only made an exception for the petitioner after significant controversy.

The petition argued that many other survivors faced similar challenges and called for fresh guidelines from the Centre on alternative methods for conducting the Digital KYC/e-KYC process for such individuals. It also urged for directives to ensure the effective implementation of these guidelines by all public and private establishments conducting Digital KYC/e-KYC processes.

The PIL was prepared by Advocates Nimisha Menon, Yamuna Rizvi, Ishita Soni, and Pranya Madan, with Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra providing oversight.

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