LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
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Summary of Lawsuits in 2010
by the Ecological Society Green Salvation




1. Lawsuit on the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s failure to act and on
acknowledging the Senior Sanitary Inspector’s statement regarding reduction
of the Sanitary Protection Zone (SPZ) to be invalid.

The lawsuit in the interests of Berezovka village residents (Western Kazakhstan Oblast) was filed on June 19, 2008 to the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court (SIEC) of Astana city. The lawsuit was filed jointly with the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law and the Nationwide Public Organization “Shanyrak”.

The lawsuit demands:

1. The government’s failure to take measures in protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, ensuring justice and safety for the residents of Berezovka village, who have had to live within the limits of Sanitary Protection Zone (SPZ), shall be recognized as inaction.

2. The Government’s failure to control activity of the Ministries and other central and local executive authorities, in regards of implementation of legislation and international agreements, shall be recognized as inaction.

3. The Government’s failure to comply with its obligations by violating the provisions of the Aarhus Convention (Articles 3.2, 3.3, 3.9, 4 and 6) and the Law “On Environmental Assessment” of 1997  (Articles 13, 14, 15.1, 16 and 36) when taking decision about reduction of the SPZ, shall be recognized as inaction.

4. The Senior Sanitary Inspector’s statement #07-2 dated on January 16, 2004, as an Addendum to the Draft “The Sanitary Protection Zone of the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field” dated on December 25, 2003, shall be recognized as invalid.

5. To require the Government to resolve the issue in accordance with the legislation, to relocate the residents of the Berezovka village to a safe and healthy location, and provide them with adequate housing taking into account their opinions.

6. To require the Government to resolve the question of compensation of material and moral damage caused to the residents of Berezovka village.

On December 23, 2009, the Supreme Court considered the claim for review and satisfied all points. The case is sent for re-view to the same court.
On January 13, 2010, the SIEC of Astana made a decision to prepare for the court hearings.
On February 18 and March 5, the court hearings took place. The court made a decision to involve the third parties to participate in the court proceedings.
On April 30, the Specialized Inter-regional Economic Court of Astana city held on-site court hearings in Berezovka village, West-Kazakhstan oblast.
On June 1, the court made a decision about re-settlement of only those people who reside within the 5 km-sanitary protection zone. The rest of the claimants’ demands were not satisfied.
On July 14, an appeal was sent to the Astana City Court.
On September 15, the Appellate Board reviewed the appeal and left the SIEC’s decision without a change.
On October 11, a cassational appeal was sent to the Astana City Court. On November 11, the court reviewed the appeal and denied to satisfy the claims.

The case remains open.



2. Lawsuit to Recognize as Invalid the Conclusions of the State Environmental Assessment,
and to Suspend the Activities of “Tsentrbeton Ltd”.

The lawsuit in the interests of Almaty city residents was filed to the Court No.2 of the Bostandyksky District of Almaty City on October 31, 2008.
 
The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize the conclusion of the state environmental assessment #03-08-543 dated on Februrary 27, 2007, conducted by the Almaty City Territorial Department of Environmental Protection (present “Balkhash-Alakolsky Ecology Department of the Committee for Ecological Regulation and Control”), to be invalid.

2. To require the Akimat of the city of Almaty to suspend the activity of “Tsentrbeton Ltd.” until its production facilities are in a full compliance with the requirements of the Environmental Code of Republic of Kazakhstan.

On December 9, 2009, a petition of appeal was filed to the civil affaires board of the Almaty City Court.
On January 14, 2010, the board refused to satisfy the petition of appeal.
On March 10th, an appeal is filed to the cassation board of the Almaty City Court.
On March 30th, the board of the Almaty City Court returned the appeal explaining that it did not satisfy the new norms of the Civil Procedural Code.
On April 6, a petition was filed to the Supreme Court.
On May 13, the Supreme Court sent the petition for review to the Almaty City Court. On June 17, the Court reviewed the cassational appeal and denied in its satisfaction.
On July 7, a new petition was filed to the Supreme Court.

On September 16, at the preliminary consideration of the petition, the Supreme Court Board denied to initiate review proceedings.



3. Lawsuit about the Ministry of Public Health’s refusal to provide information.

The lawsuit in the interests of Berezovka village residents was filed to the Essil District Court #2 of Astana City on June 26, 2009.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To acknowledge the refusal of the Ministry of Public Health and Committee of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Ministry of Health to provide information, in particular, a report on “Evaluation of health conditions of the people living in the area of Karachaganak oil and gas condensate deposit”, to be inaction violating the rights and lawful interests of a legal person.

2. To require the Ministry of Public Health to provide the Ecological Society Green Salvation with the information requested.

3. To exact the court legal costs from the Committee of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Ministry of Public Health.

On December 9, 2009, a petition of appeal was considered by the City Court of Astana. The Court refused to satisfy the petition.
On January 6, 2010, a petition was sent to the Supreme Court.

On March 4, during preliminary court hearings, the Review Board of the Supreme Court refused to initiate review proceedings.



4. Lawsuit on inadequate information about situation in the water protection strip
of Yesentai River (city of Almaty) provided by the public authorities.

The lawsuit in protection of interests of Almaty city residents was filed on September 3d, 2009, to the SIEC of Almaty.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To acknowledge that the information provided to the Ecological Society Green Salvation by the Almaty Department of mobilization, civil defense, emergency prevention and response, Almaty Department of Public Health, Department of natural resources and regulation of natural resources utilization, Medeuskiy Akimat, Almaty City Territorial Department of Environmental Protection, Balkhash-Alakolsky Ecology Department of the Committee for Ecological Regulation and Control, represented in a form of an act dated on May 28, 2007, to be inadequate.

2. To make a special court ruling to the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan, minister of health, and minister of emergency response on provision of inadequate environmental information by the governmental bodies within their jurisdiction which violates the code of honor of a governmental employee.

On December 15, 2009, the case’s court jurisdiction was approved and the case was filed to the SIEC of Almaty.
On January 25, 2010, the judge returned the case using the same explanation – “not under the court’s jurisdiction”.
On February 10, the case was submitted again to the SIEC to another judge.
On February 19, the judge determined that the case shall be returned because it is “not in jurisdiction” of the SIEC.
On March 16, in order to start the case trial procedures, the Ecological Society addressed the Head of the Almaty City Court and to the Head of the SIEC.
On April 5, the Ecological Society received a reply from the Appellate Board on Civic Affairs of the Almaty City Court suggesting to make an appeal against the determination of the judge.
On April 6, the case was re-filed to the Appellate Board on Civic Affairs of the Almaty City Court.
On June 24, the court denied to satisfy the lawsuit demands.
On July 13, an appeal was filed to the Almaty City Court.
On August 17, the court reviewed the appeal and denied in its satisfaction.
On September 1, a cassational appeal was sent to the Almaty City Court.
On October 7, the court reviewed the appeal and denied in its satisfaction.
On October 27, a petition was filed to the Supreme Court.

The case remains open.



5. Lawsuit about cancellation of decisions, conclusions, and endorsements related to the project of construction
of a module veterinary laboratory (city of Almaty).

The lawsuit in protection of the lawful interests of Almaty city residents was filed on October 16, 2009, to the Medeu District Court of Almaty.
 
The lawsuit demands:

1. To cancel the permission of the Almaty Department of the State Architectural and Civil Engineering Control dated on August 14, 2009, under #224 allowing the construction works.

2. To cancel the permission given by the Almaty Department of natural resources and regulation of natural resources utilization, under #03-20-586 dated on June15, 2009.

3. To cancel the work order signed by the Almaty Department of the State Architectural and Civil Engineering Control under #018 dated on June 25, 2009, for opening of a foundation pit and removal of the soil.

4. To cancel the endorsement signed by the Department of Committee of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the city of Almaty #011 dated on 30.01.2008.

5. To cancel the endorsement of the Committee of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan #07-12-1730 dated on December 19, 2007.

6. To cancel the conclusion of the State Ecological Expertise of the Almaty Department of natural resources and regulation of natural resources utilization #04-08-280 dated on December 29, 2007, and the permission on emission into the environment dated on July 15, 2009, under #0000184, series А-07, as being illegitimate endorsements of the construction project of the module veterinary laboratory of the State Utility Enterprise “State Veterinary Laboratory” which lead to violation of the lawful interests of the district residents.

7. To acknowledge as illegitimate and invalid the project of construction of the module veterinary laboratory which realization lead to the violation of rights and lawful interests of the district residents.

8. To prohibit the placement, construction, and start-up works for the module veterinary laboratory performed with a violation of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

On December 28, 2009, a preliminary case consideration took place in the Medeu District Court.
During January and February of 2010, five court hearings took place.
On February 16, the court denied satisfying the lawsuit demands.
On February 25, a claim was filed to the Appellate Board on Civic Affairs of the Almaty City Court.
On April 27, the Board denied to satisfy the claim.
On May 24, a claim was filed to the cassation board on Civic Affaires of the Almaty City Court.
On July 24, a petition was filed to the Supreme Court.
On September 16, at the preliminary consideration of the petition, the Supreme Court Board denied to initiate review proceedings.

The case remains open.



6. Lawsuit about inaction of a governmental authority –
Committee of Court Administration under the Supreme Court.

The lawsuit was submitted in the interests of the residents of the city of Almaty on November 10, 2009, to the Essil District Court #2 of the city of Astana.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize the failure of the Committee of Court Administration under the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan to comply with its obligations and provide a timely realization of executive documents by the Court Administrator of the city of Almaty on execution of SIEC’s decisions dated on September 10, 2007, and October 21, 2008, to be an illegal action (inaction). On September 10, 2007, the court made a decision about liquidation of the illegal dump near Chimbulak health resort.

2. To require the Committee of Court Administration under the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan to undertake legal measures to force the Court Administrator of the city of Almaty to start immediate implementation of the SIEC’s decisions indicated above.

On November 23, a special claim regarding the decision of a judge of the Essil District Court of the city of Astana was submitted to the City Court of Astana.
On December 15, 2009, the City Court of Astana determined the case’s court jurisdiction. The case was filed to the SIEC of Astana.
On January 25, 2010, a request regarding the court’s delay in filing the case was directed to the City Court of Astana.
On February 4, the case was filed to the SIEC of Astana.
Several court hearings took place during the period from March to June.
On June 22, the SIEC of Astana city denied in satisfaction of the lawsuit demands.
On July 21, an appeal was sent to the Astana City Court.

On September 27, the court reviewed and satisfied the appeal. The decision came into effect.



№ 7
Lawsuit on the Akimat of Almaty city’s failure to provide information
about measures for regulation of land ownership issues
in water protection strips and on the specially protected natural territories.

The lawsuit was filed on April 13, 2010, to the SIEC of Almaty city.

The lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize as inaction violating rights and lawful interests of a legal person the denial of the Akimat of Almaty city to provide information to the Ecological Society Green Salvation, in particular, the following Akimat’s provisions:
   - № 7/976 dated on 25.09.2007 “About condemnation, including buyback, of land plots for the state needs”,
   - № 9/1117 dated on 05.11.2007 “About confiscation of land plots for the state needs”,
   - № 7/977 dated on 25.09.2007 “About condemnation, including buyback, of land plots for the state needs”,
   - № 7/978 dated on 25.09.2007 “About condemnation, including buyback, of land plots for the state needs”,
   - № 2/377 dated on 5.06.2008 “About the regulatory measures of land relations in the “Medeu” and “Chimbulak” gorges”.

2. To require the Akimat to provide the requested information to the Ecological Society.

3. To recover the court legal costs from the Akimat of Almaty city.

In May, several court hearings were cancelled because of default in appearance of the defender.
On June 1, the court made a decision about partial satisfaction of the lawsuit demands.

On September 11, the Akimat of Almaty city provided all the information requested.



№ 8
Lawsuit about inaction of the organs of public administration which led to accumulation
of an illegal dump in Besagash village.

The lawsuit in the interests of Besagash village residents was filed to the Court of the city of Talgar, Almaty oblast, on November 3, 2010.

Lawsuit demands:

1. To recognize as inaction the failure to perform direct duties by the following defenders:
- Akimat of Almaty oblast
- Akimat of Talgar region, Almaty oblast
- Akimat of Besagash rural district of Talgar region, Almaty oblast
- Emergency Department of Talgar region
- Department of State sanitary and epidemiological control for Talgar region
- Regional Department of Internal Affaires of Talgar city

2. To require the defenders to take immediate measures within their jurisdiction, in order to re-establish favorable environmental conditions for the village residents, in particular, to require the owner of the land plot and the boiler house, chairman of the cooperative “Luch Vostoka”, to liquidate the dump by demolition of the former boiling house facility.

The case remains open.



Lawyer Svetlana Philippovna Katorcha defends the rights and legal interests of the Ecological Society Green Salvation in court.

Translated by Sofya Tairova.


    




See also Green Salvation Heralds devoted to accomplishing the organization’s primary mission: defending the right of Kazakhstan’s citizens to a healthy environment.