The Government back-bencher Member of the National Assembly, Mr. K. Teeluckdharry, who was also the barrister representing Dr. Madhewoo in his Supreme Court case against the biometric ID Cards, asked a pertinent Question of the Minister concerned, but has, it would seem, subsequently withdrawn the question. The question and its withdrawal is reported in Hansard No. 29 of 2015, for the 8 September sitting. Here is what Hansard says, word-for-word starting on page 79, until the word “Withdrawn” at the end.
“BIOMETRIC IDENTITY CARDS PROJECT - DATABASE
“(No. B/452) Mr K. Teeluckdharry (Second Member for Pamplemousses & Triolet) asked the Minister of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms, Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation whether, in regard to the Biometric Identity Cards Project, he will state –
“(a) the cost incurred for the implementation, setting up and maintenance of databases therefor, and
“(b) if Government proposes to do away with the –
“(i) practice of compulsorily requiring Mauritian citizens to give their fingerprints and other biometric data for the purpose of obtaining a national identity card, and
“(ii) features contained in the biometric card, namely, the contactless integrated micro-chip and the integrated Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID).
The question that LALIT is posing is whether this question was withdrawn for political reasons, i.e. the Government does not want to reply to it. We do not know.