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Friday, 21 December 2012 11:14

National Assembly – No Honourability Shown, Nandanee sets House ablaze

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Words and gestures used were beyond acceptance by the Speaker who spent all his goodwill at bringing members to their senses.
All the vociferous attitudes took place mainly during the Private Notice Question of the Leader of the Opposition who wanted to be enlightened on the incident which took place at the Dr Maurice SSS on 10 December during the counting of votes the day following the municipal elections.

The Honorable Speaker of the House was helpless and during more than 30 minutes tried hard to bring the members under control but in vain. At one time he was even challenged twice by a honourable minister who did not want to withdraw his un-parliamentary remarks against a lady member of the Opposition and it was only after a third request that he finally complied and this after being encouraged by his colleagues to do so. Harsh words were exchanged very often with a menacing tone and low accusations were made against each other. The Prime Minister took nearly 20 minutes to answer the PNQ, intermittently interrupted whenever there were protests from the Opposition and loud voices of support from his side. The remaining ten minutes reserved for the Prime Minister’s Question (PMQ) were not calm either as the two first questions were directed against two newly appointed personalities whose credibility were put to test by the opposition.

The Leader of the Opposition, Paul Bérénger wanted to know whether a police enquiry has been carried out following the incident that took place at Dr Maurice Curé polling centre on 10 December 2012 involving one Mrs N.S and one Mr Y.S.

In his reply, the Prime Minister gave details of the incident of how pictures of the lady were taken by one MMM/MSM agent without her consent and which gave way to the scuffle; the intervention of the police and one senior presiding officer; how the two mobile phones of Mr Y.S were secured by the lady and remitted to police officers and how both of them gave their respective statement to the police.

“To forestall any deterioration of the situation, the Senior Presiding Officer made arrangements for the personal safety and security of Mr Y. S, which he voluntarily accepted. At 12 30 hours on the same day, Mrs N. S. gave a statement to the Police, in which she related all these facts and stated that the acts and doings of Mr Y. S. have caused her prejudice, and that she considers that such acts constituted a breach of her privacy.  She also stated that the photographs could be used to harm her and for other wrongful purposes.”

“At 14 00 hours on the same day, that is, on 10 December 2012, Mr Y. S. gave a statement in the presence of his Counsel, in which he initially denied having taken any picture of Mrs N. S.  He did not say anything else except that he would give evidence in Court. On the next day, that is, 11 December 2012, at 12 50 hours, in a statement given under warning, in presence of his Counsel, and after examination of both secured cell phones by the IT Department of the Police, he then admitted having himself taken the pictures downloaded by the IT Department of the Police, and he admitted having taken the offending pictures with his mobile phones.”

Counting agent
Dr Ramgoolam also told the House that the Electoral Commissioner informed him “that Mrs N. S. was indeed a duly appointed counting agent of the PTR/PMSD Alliance; that she has given a statement to the Police at 12 30 hours on 10 December 2012; that the two mobile phones in possession of Mr Y. S. were secured and taken by Mrs N.S. from him and immediately remitted to the Police Constable R. K; that there is no mention in the statement given to the Police by Mr Y. S. that threats were proffered against him by Mrs N. S.”  

“I am also informed,” the Prime Minister added, “that, at 15 10 hours on 10 December 2012, Mr Y. S. made a precautionary measure declaration, again in the presence of his Counsel, in which he claims, for the first time, that certain threatening words were uttered by Mrs N. S. against him in the office of the Senior Presiding Officer; that 21 Police Officers headed by a Chief Inspector were on duty at the Counting Centre and Mr Y.S. did not make any complaint of threat to any of the Police Officers.”

The head of government also informed parliament that “Mr Y.S. has been convened this morning (18.12.12) to the Central CID where a provisional charge of breach of section 46 of the Information and Communication Technology Act will be preferred against him, but I say it is a provisional charge.”  

He added that “two Police Inspectors, who were involved in the enquiry, have been transferred to the Western Division.  Both Police Inspectors, it is reported, acted in gross violation of standard Police procedures regarding safekeeping and handling of exhibits.  They were told that they have to be kept because they were going to be used as evidence, but they returned the said exhibits to the owner of the mobile phones in the course of the enquiry, thus allowing the exhibits to be possibly tampered with and, in fact, there is evidence that it has been tampered with; action has been initiated against the Superintendent of Police who was then in charge of Vacoas Police Station; this is in fact why the Commissioner of Police has entrusted the enquiry to the Central CID.”

Then followed 20 minutes of supplementary questions on the reasons why Mr Y.S was sequestrated in a classroom and later his residence raided, whether it was not illegal that the two mobile phones were secured by Mrs N.S and if it was arbitrary that the police officers were transferred. As the game of questions and answers proceeded, remarks of a private nature were heard from both sides, one as amusing as the other until it reached a pitch with Dr Ramgoolam accusing Nando Bodha of ‘having followed Mrs N.S!’ to which the elected member of Vacoas-Floreal replied candidly:’ I can assure the House and the Prime Minister that I never set my eyes on the lady!’ Dr Ramgoolam insisted that “I have been hearing of such a thing!’




Indradev Curpen

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