by | May 9, 2024

In today’s digital age, the Know Your Customer (KYC) process serves as a gateway to essential financial and telecommunication services. However, for acid attack survivors and individuals with permanent eye damage, navigating this process can be a daunting task fraught with obstacles. The recent petition filed by nine acid attack survivors in the Supreme Court of India sheds light on the urgent need to establish guidelines for an inclusive digital KYC process. 

These survivors, having endured indignity and humiliation, advocate for measures that accommodate their unique circumstances and uphold their dignity and equality in accessing vital services. This petition underscores the pressing need for comprehensive reforms to ensure inclusivity in the digital realm, echoing the voices of marginalized individuals seeking rightful participation in society.


Acid attacks inflict not only physical but also psychological and social scars on survivors, often leading to enduring challenges in various aspects of life. Despite significant progress in societal awareness and legal frameworks, survivors continue to face hurdles in accessing fundamental services due to their unique circumstances.


In recent years, there has been growing recognition of the struggles faced by acid attack survivors in various spheres of life, including accessing banking and telecommunication services. However, the lack of specific guidelines and accommodations has perpetuated the marginalization of this vulnerable group.

Key Aspects:

  • Acid attack survivors encounter barriers in accessing basic financial and telecommunication services due to existing digital KYC processes.
  • Despite appeals for alternative methods, both public and private entities have failed to address the concerns of survivors effectively.
  • The petition highlights the urgent need for comprehensive guidelines to ensure inclusivity in the digital KYC process, accommodating survivors’ unique challenges.

Petition Inclusions:

  • Devise fresh guidelines for digital KYC, enabling alternative methods for acid attack survivors and similarly affected individuals.
  • Mandate entities conducting digital KYC to implement these guidelines effectively and formulate organizational policies to accommodate alternative methods.
  • Expand the interpretation of “live photograph” to encompass alternative criteria beyond eye blinking, such as facial movements or voice recognition.
  • Amend or introduce alternatives for satisfying the “live photo” requirement by regulatory bodies like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Instruct regulated entities to establish account-based relationships or provide services using alternative KYC methods that don’t necessitate eye blinking.
  • Mandate organizations conducting KYC to adopt offline or physical procedures for survivors unable to blink for digital KYC.
  • Conduct sensitization programs for entities conducting digital KYC to aid acid attack survivors and similarly affected individuals in accessing essential services.

Actions for Acid Attack Survivors:

  • Implementing alternative KYC methods that accommodate survivors’ needs, ensuring their autonomy and dignity.
  • Providing sensitivity training to staff and stakeholders to foster a supportive environment for survivors accessing services.
  • Collaborating with advocacy groups and legal experts to develop comprehensive guidelines and policies that address the specific challenges faced by acid attack survivors.


The plea presented by acid attack survivors to the Supreme Court of India underscores the urgent need for inclusive measures in the digital KYC process. By addressing the unique challenges faced by survivors, such as permanent eye damage, society can uphold principles of dignity, autonomy, and equality for all. It is imperative for governmental bodies, regulatory authorities, and service providers to collaborate in implementing comprehensive guidelines that ensure the inclusivity and accessibility of essential services for acid attack survivors and similarly affected individuals.

Source- India Today 


Written By Vishakha Khatri

My name is Vishakha Khatri. I am an engineering graduate and a civil service aspirant with a passion for spreading knowledge about Indian polity. I believe that understanding our political system is crucial for every citizen, and I am committed to making this information accessible to everyone in my own easy way. Through my experiences in civil service preparation and my unique perspective as an engineering graduate, I hope to inspire and educate others on the importance of Indian polity.

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