A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Centre and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to formulate a policy to issue Rs 50 coins to provide equal opportunity and ease of doing business to the visually impaired citizens of the country.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh listed the application for hearing on February 25, 2022.
The application was filed in a pending petition by advocate Rohit Dandriyal seeking directions to the authorities to withdraw the new currency notes of Rs 50 as the visually-impaired people were finding it difficult to use them due to their size and the tactile marks.
The application said the petitioners undertook a study on the distress and inequalities faced by the visually impaired citizens due to the design of the currency notes which makes it difficult for them to distinguish between various denominations of the currency.
“Respondents have enacted a number of schemes for the benefit of the visually challenged and have launched coins of the denomination of Rs 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20. While the currency notes of the denomination of Rs 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 100, 200, 500 and 2000 are visually impaired friendly, the same is not applicable for the Rs 50 note, which is indistinguishable from the Rs 100 and 500 notes and there is no coin available for the same,” it said.
The high court had earlier asked the government and RBI to examine the new currency notes and coins, observing that the visually impaired were facing hardship in identifying and using them.
It had told the government and RBI to reconsider the issue and if possible examine the new currency notes of Rs 200 and Rs 50 denominations as the visually impaired people were finding it difficult to use them due to their size and the tactile marks.
The bench had earlier refused to stay the printing and circulation of the new Rs 50 notes, issued on August 18, 2019.
The court was hearing PILs filed by three advocates, a company secretary and NGO, All India Confederation of Blind, who had sought a change in the new currency notes to make them easily identifiable and differentiable for the visually impaired.
Dandriyal had said that according to the RBI, a special feature has been introduced on the left of the watermark window on all notes, except the Rs 10 currency.
“This feature is in different shapes for various denominations. For example, a vertical rectangle denotes a Rs 20 note, a square means Rs 50 (in older notes), triangle and circle for Rs 100, a diamond denoted the Rs 1,000 currency which is not a legal tender now,” the petition said.
The petition by the NGO said visually impaired people were facing hardship in identification, usage and transaction of the new currency notes of Rs 2000, Rs 500, Rs 200 and Rs 50 denominations.
Maintaining that the size of old and new notes were different, the NGO also sought replacement of coins of Rs 10, Rs 5, Rs 2 and Re 1 saying these were of a similar structure.