The old NIC will no longer be valid as from the 30th of September. As the deadline for the registration for the purpose of the new biometric NIC has been scheduled for the 30th of September while the legal proceedings pertaining to the contestation of the very being of the biometric card are still ongoing, the question remains as to whether those who have still not registered will be sanctioned or not?
The deadline for the old National Identity Card (NIC) is drawing nearer and nearer – after 28 years of existence, it will no longer be valid after the 30th of September.
Out of more than 900 000 individuals in the older than 18 years of age in Mauritius, around 880 000 have already been registered. The 15th September deadline caused great crowds to call at the conversion centers during the weekend of the 13th and 14th of September.
As from today, 15th of September, only two weeks away from the final deadline when the old card will be rendered invalid, only four conversion centers will be open for those who have not yet made their new biometric NIC: the one in the Emmanuel Anquetil building at Port-Louis, those of Rose-Hill, Mahebourg, and Goodlands, which will remain open from the 16th to the 30th of this month. The four conversion centers will remain accessible to the public from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, except on Thursdays.
Collecting the card will be possible at the following centers:
Past the deadline, the responsibility of all the procedures will be transferred to the State – the registration of the names of those who have gone past the deadline will be done at the registry office until December. As from the 1st of October, the transfer from the administration of the Mauritius National Identity Card Scheme (MNICS) to the registry office will be done.
How about the court cases that were filed in opposition to the new NIC? No verdict has been given yet as the legal proceedings are still ongoing. Certain associations have, however, expressed their opinion that the State should extend the time period of the validity of the old NIC until December 2015. The organisations include Lalit, the CTSP, the FTU, the ACIM, the “Muvman Liberasyon Fam”, and the Idriss Goomany center, as well as Playgroup and ABAIM. The purpose is to wait until the verdicts of the three court cases in this regard are pronounced.
In spite of the fact that the court cases have not yet been concluded, will those who have chosen not to register for the biometric NIC be sanctioned after the deadline of the 30th September? According to Rao Ramah, the project leader of the MNICS, the decision is up to the authorities concerned as to the procedures to be taken after the final deadline. According to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Satyajit Boolell, no action can be taken as long as the court has not given its final ruling.