[AI] banking transactions for blind people

kishanlal kishanlal3 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 23 10:57:37 EST 2008









dated 5t"


No.F.3/212004SCT(B) Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Economic Affairs (Banking Division)


New Delhi, the 15th September, 2005


1.     The Chairran, State Bank of India,Mumbai

2.     The Chief General Manager. HRD, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai

3.     The Chairman & Managing Director, IDBI &SIDBI     ,

4.     The Chairman, NABARD, Mumbai

5.     The Chairman & Managing Directors of all


7. The Chairman, IBA, Mumbai


Decision of the Chief Commissioner for Disabilities in respect of visually impaired persons


I am directed to f                                 herewith a copy of the order


September, 2005 passed by the Court of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in case No.2791/200313910 regarding facilities to be provided to the visually impaired persons by the Banks for information and necessary




                                                                ?1, ]w'r.                                 Yours faithfully


                                /                                 . Under Secreta to the Govt. of In "a

Coed for information to:

?,[S .D. Dharival, Deputy Commissioner, Cou of Chief Commissioner With Dibilitis. Sarojini House, 6. Bhagwan Class Kod, Nw Dlhi with Re£ to his order dated 5.092005.

2.      SO.BO.1 and SO(Dev), Banking Division.New Delhi.














I     2    SO.BO

IN THE COURT OF CHIEF COMMISSIONER FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Sarojini House, 6, Bhagwan Class Road. New Delhi-110001  '': 2338-6054, 2338-6154, Fax : 2338-6006

Website: www.ccdisabilis,nic,in Email: ccpd at hub.nic.in


(Under the Persons vth Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Right and Full Participation) Act, 1995


Case No. 2791/2003


In the matter of: .



Banking Divisbn

(Through the Secretary)

Ministry of Finance

Govt. of India

Jeevan Deep Building

Parliament Street, New Delhi


Respondent No.1



Indian Banks' Associalon

(Through its Vice President (Omtions)

World Trade Centre, 61 Floor

Centre 1 Bldg., World Trade Centre Complex

Cure Parade

Mumbai -400.005 


Respondent No.2



Reserve Bank of India                         Respondent No.3 
(Through its Chief General Manager (Banking Operalions)


Mumbat -400  005






Date of headngs 21.1.2004

Sh. A.Thomas, Under Secretary, MOF, Banking Division and the complainant.


Sh. V,P.Grover, St. Research Officer, MOF, Banking Division and the complainant


1.   Sh. V.Ramchandran, Vice President (IBA);

2.   Sh. Subrta Das, Dy. General Manager (RBI),

3.   Sh. Ram Kanwar, Section Officer, MOF, Banking Divisbn









6.   Sh. M.K.Rastogi, Chairperson, All India Confederation of the Blind

7.   Sh.Subhash Vashishta (Advocate)

8.   Sh. V.P.Singhania, Complainant


1.   Sh. V.Ramchandran, Vice President (IBA),

2.   Sh. Subrata Das, Dy. General Manager (RBI),

3.   Sh. Ram Kanwar, Section Officer MOF, Banking Division

4.   Sh. V.P.Singhania, Complainant


Sh. V.P.Singhania, a person with visual impairment filed a complaint dated 18.8.2003 in e Co¢ o CZae(  lot Persons with DisabiF=lies. He is the President of National Federation of the


¢1=1 to Iir bind ant holders alter ' of Lett Hand Thumb Impression (LHTI)/Right Hand Thumb Impression (RHTI) of such customers on each. cheque leaf. All the cheque leaves may be crossed infavour of kmdin9 institution. He therefore, requested to take up the matter with the respondent no.1 and 3.


2. Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with 'Disabilities registered the complaint under Section 59 of the Persons with Disabilities Act 1955, hereinafter referred to as the Act and served notice to respondent No.1 to show cause dated 9.9.2003 to submit his/her version of the


3.         As I was no response, pe hearing was held on 21.01.2(X)4. Ministry of Finance,


On 21.12004, the representalfve of respondent No.1 stated that M'misb'y of F'mance needed to consult Reserve Bank of India and sought more time. He was.advised to submit reply within one month and the complainant to submit rejoinder within two weeks thereafter.


4. Respondent No,1 vide letter No.3/2/2004-SCT(B) dated nil March 2004 received on 12.  march 2004 informed that the matter had been examined in consultation with the Indian Banks' Association. It was stated that Banks on case-to-case basis, extend Cheque Book facility to visually impaired account-holders. They are : cautioned against misuse of Cheques by



 to the visually impaired account holders is fraught with risk as there was scope for misuse/fradulent withdrawal of money from such account holders account due to their impairment of vision. It was trefore, decided that with a view to protect the interest of such customers, as  as the bank, no change be recommended in the existing system of providing seces to the visualy impaired persons as stated above. In respect of the suggestion to provide account payee cheques to visual/impaired customers for payment of predetermined EMIS for retail Joan such as b==i Ioax, ¢malmer loans, e¢.. the  bank may take appropriate view in the matter.


As regards providing Locker fdcil' to visually impaired customers, the Committee was of the view that banks may open joint account with such customers with appropriate terms and conditions so as to protect the interest of the visually impaired customers as well as the banks.


Concluding the discussion on the issue, the Chairman stated an account holder should be held equally responsible when fraudulent withdrawal from his account takes place allegedly signed by the account holder's next kin or relatives etc. copying his signature as the account holder has


rain in Mumbai and was finally held on 23rd August 2005. Dudng the headng Sh. V.Ramachandran, Vioe President (Operations) Indian Banks' Assodation stated that the views and the decisions of the Standing Committee of IBA to consider the issues involved had already been communicated vide letter No.BD/L&O/200 dated 17.6.2005. He had nothing to add. He, however, stated that this court may take a view after hearing theviews of Reserve Bank of India and Ministry of Finance (Banking Division).





unscrupulous persons. The use of thumb impression is restricted for cash payments across the counter. The mechanism of electronic clearing arrangements (ECS Debit) could be used to collect the Equated Monthly Instalments by the lenders. The account holder could give a mandate to his banker to honour claims received from the lending institutions representing the EMI. In view of the foregoing,, the Banking Division was of the view that it was not advisable to issue directions to the banks to issue compulsorily Cheque Books to visually impaired persons as a matter of routine.


instalments is known. As soon as their views became avaabte, the deddon would be conveyed. The complainant, appreciating the initiative being taken by the Ministfi of Rnance, submitted that the cheque book facility should also be allowed for any other specific purpose such as payment of electricity bill to be made to the concerned agency, the charges to be paid to the housing sodeties where the amount of payment is not known in advance. In such cases, he suggested that at the time of issuing the cheque book, the concerned bank should writo the n,ne of The payee and verify


No.OPR/JlB17-1N/208dated 15.4.2004. Asperb'elolter, RBI had examined e issue and was of the view that legacy speaking, the cheque book facility / operalJon of ATM I locker cannot be denied to blind persons / persons with low vision as they are legally competent to contract. Further, it would be safe and legally valid if such cheque book fadlity I operation of locker was allowed under the signature of a duly authorized person / person having notarised power of attorney. The operation of ATM by blind person / persons with low vision would also be safe and







IBA will examine the feasibility of printing appropriate warning on the cheques such as "Care -Cheque  for Visually Impaired" to alert the bank officials.

The account holder should give an undertaking to the bank to the effect that the cheque book be issued to him/her at his/her own risk at the time of issuing.

IBA will examine the concerns relating to allotment of locker and its operation by visually impaired persons in consultation with RBI. The fact that the individual himself/herself has to go to the bank to operate the kxer and hen it id t


A report on the above issues was to be submitted by IBA by 31= Match 2005. IBA was also advised to address the issues relating to the eligibility conditions of scribes, extra time in examination etc. raised in the representation dated 12. September 2004 of the All India Confederation of the Blind, a copy of which was handed over to Sh. Ramchandran. IBA was also advised to intimate the outcome to this Court and All India Confederation of the Blind.


9. Vide letter No.OPR/17-04/007 daL=d 5th April 2005 IBA informed that they were referring the matter to their Standing Committee of Senior Bankers' for consideration. Vide letter dated 17.6.2005, IBAcommunicated the folloutg.dedsions ofits Legoland Opera Committee, a


"The Commitlee discussed Ibe abeve suggestions in detail and were of the view that wi a view to protect the intereset of the .visually impaired account holders, currently banks have a system of insisting on the visually impaired (blind) customers to come personally to the bank with an escort and withdraw cash from their account. The withdrawal forms/cheques are filled by the escorts and the signature / thumb impression of the visually impaired customer are attested by the bank official and the amount withdrawn are also informed to such customers so that he / she is aware of the amount actually withdrawn from the account. The Committee felt that issuing cheque





legally valid Iwith the change of technology. In view of the above RBI was of the view that the banks could issue post-dated chqeues after verification / certification of the LHTI/RHTI of the blind persons so that they could avail of loans from financial institutions."


7. Vide letter dated 4.8.2004 of this court, respondent No.1 was advised to take up with RBI for issuing instructions to Banks to issue cheque books and allow ATM/Iocker facility to blind/low vision persons. Vide letter No.3/Z/2004-SCT(B) dated 27.8.2004, respondent no.1 forwarded a copy of   14.82004 of RBI which stated that the matter was being further examined in


 fmm, ,,.s a Ibaide soluon, the blind peos may hae to come to the bank  the elecldcity bill or such other bills and seek the assistance of the concerned bak off0dal in ttiling the amount of the cheque since the concerned bank official would beone of the persons  would be witnessing/dentifying the thumb impression of the blind persons. IBA furl mentioned that they did not find, any other workable proposition and have sought the views of the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities on the above proposal.


8. As the matter was pending since August, 2003 and considering the problems faced by visually challenged persons, a meeting of the representatives of Ministry of Rnance, RBI, IBA, National Co of the Brmd and  India Confederation of the Blind was called in the of Fce

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The persons with blindness and low vision should be allowed to open individual accounts and be issued account payee cheques only.

At the time of issuing of cheque book, signature or the thumb impression, as the case may be, of the accountholder should be attested by the bank offcials to avoid matching of signatures at the time of making payments to third parties.






11. Sh. Ram Kanwar, Section Officer the representative of the Ministry of Finance, Banking Division, said that RBI being the regulatory authority for the banking industn/, its decision will have to be followed by all concerned.


12. Sh. V.P.Singhania, the complainant stated that availability of a notarized power of attorney or a duly authorized person to such visually impaired persons whose spouse also happens to be  aed has mor chldree or a bind  who is single, is difficult. Therefore, issue of


13. During the hearing on 22.2.2005 various issues as mentioned in para 8 were discussed in detail and suggestions were made for examination and consideration with a view to find a positive solution to the problems being faced by visually impaired persons in avaing banking fadlities.


14. Upon considering the written and oral submissions of IBA, RBI, Ministry of Finance (Banking Division) and the complainant, this court is of the lirm opinion that visually impaired persons can not be denied the facility of cheque book, locker and ATM on the possibility of dsk in operating/using the said facility, as the element of risk is involved in case of other customers as


erefee,  .ldstry of Finance, Banldng Division and RBI to issue appropriate instructions to the following effect for implementation by all the banks within 45 days of receipt of this order:


Visually impaired persons be allowed to open an account with cheque book facility (cheques to be crossed at the time of issue) with an undertaking by the account holder that the cheque book be issued at his/her own risk. On the request of the account holder, the bank should











issue the cheques in the name of the specified payee to make periodic payments for the retail loans, utility bills etc. At the time of issuing of cheque books, thumb impression of the account holder should be duly affixed and authenticated by the bank official.

For cash withdrawis, the visually impaired person should personally present himself/herself before the bank official who will facilitate filling up the cheque / withdrawi slips.

The fadlity of operating the Lockers be also allowed to the visually al:z h,s ilhoul insislJng on the joint account, as this


AIM fa=lity be also allowed on demand to the visually impaired customers as available to other customers. Banks should procure, talking ATMs whenever they install new ones. Such an ATM machine has already been installed by some bank in Pune/Mumbai.

Banks should also ensure that the ATMs, are accessible to other categories of persons with disabilities such as the wheel chair users.


15.        As regards the qualification of the scribes, IBA has informed that the issue should be


resolved by the Minisby of Rnance which will be referred to them.


for persons with disabilities


With warm regards
Yours sincerely
Kishanlal Sharma
Mobile: 09413849638

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