The biometric National Identity Card (NIC) had received much criticism and opposition ever since its implementation was first announced. A lawsuit was even filed by the group of individuals contesting its relevance on the grounds that the NIC represented violation of one’s rights. Judge Eddy Balancy has finally given a verdict: he ruled that saving biometric data for an undetermined time period is “anticonstitutional”. The lawyer of Pravind Jugnauth, Yash Bhadain, describes the conclusion of the case as a “great victory for democracy”.
The judge explained that taking fingerprints is legal, but, only if done with the permission of the individuals to whom they belong. Consequently, this rule makes of those taken by the authorities invalid.
It was back in 2013 when Rajah Madhewoo and Pravind Jugnauth contested the decision of the State in court. Pravind Jugnauth had argued that the data gleaned for the biometric NIC was extremely dangerous in a democratic society. According to him, the law pertaining to the NIC would allow the police to have access to personal information of Mauritians. He believed that this data should remain confidential.
Also, it is to be noted that the current government had previously announced that the data of the biometric NIC would be destroyed.