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On refusing to consider a petition

 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 DECISION

On the petition of the vilnius regional ADMINISTRATIVE court, the petitioner, requesting an INVESTIGATION into whether PARAGRAPH 2 (WORDINGS OF 20 JANUARY 2006 AND 17 OCTOBER 2012) OF ARTICLE 1 OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA’S LAW ON THE STATE PENSIONS OF OFFICIALS AND SERVICEMEN IS NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE Constitution OF THE Republic of Lithuania

 7 July 2014, No. KT35-S25/2014
Vilnius

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court: Vytautas Greičius, Pranas Kuconis, Gediminas Mesonis, Vytas Milius, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, and Dainius Žalimas

The court reporter—Daiva Pitrėnaitė

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, in its procedural sitting, considered the petition (No. 1B-43/2014) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

At the Constitutional Court, the petition (No. 1B-43/2014) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, was received “requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 2 (wordings of 20 January 2006 and 17 October 2012) (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 17-601; Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2012, No. 129-6475) of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, to the extent that the persons and members of municipal councils who hold an office in the state/public service and discharge the functions of state authority (members of the Seimas, the President of the Republic, ministers, the Prime Minister, judges) are allowed to receive the state pensions of officials, is not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance”.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

  1. The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requests an investigation into whether Paragraph 2 (wordings of 20 January 2006 and 17 October 2012) of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the persons and members of municipal councils who hold an office in the state (public) service and discharge the functions of state authority (members of the Seimas, the President of the Republic, ministers, the Prime Minister, judges) are allowed to receive the state pensions of officials, is (was) not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance.
  2. Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 January 2006) of Article 1 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen prescribed:

“The officials and servicemen listed in Paragraph 1 of this Article, who, after their inclusion into the reserve staff of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of National Defence, the reserve of the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defence, the reserve of the State Security Department and the Special Investigation Service, are employed in other ministries, departments, establishments, and organisations of the Republic of Lithuania shall also have the right to receive the state pensions of officials and servicemen.”

Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 1 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen prescribes:

“2. The right to receive the state pensions of officials and servicemen shall also be granted to those officials and servicemen, as enumerated in Paragraph 1 of this Article, who:

1) while being enlisted in the reserve staff of the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of National Defence, or the reserve of the officials of the Special Investigation Service, are employed in other ministries, departments, establishments, and organisations of the Republic of Lithuania;

2) while being enlisted in the reserve of intelligence officials of the State Security Department and the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defence, are employed in other Lithuanian, foreign, or international institutions, establishments, enterprises, or organisations, as well as are engaged in another lawful activity and carry out individual service-related tasks of intelligence institutions.”

Both Paragraph 2 (wording of 20 January 2006) of Article 1 and Paragraph 2 (wording of 17 October 2012) of Article 1 of the Law on State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, whose compliance with the Constitution is impugned by the petitioner, established and establish that the officials and servicemen listed in Paragraph 1 of this article, who, after their inclusion into the reserve staff (officials) of certain state institutions (among other things, into the reserve staff of the Ministry of the Interior), are employed in other ministries, departments, establishments, and organisations of the Republic of Lithuania, shall also have the right to receive the state pensions of officials and servicemen.

  1. Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007 with subsequent amendments) of Article 1 of the Law on State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, which is referred to in the impugned Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the same law, provides:

“1. The following citizens of the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right to receive the state pensions of officials and servicemen:

1) the officials of the Ministry of the Interior, the police, the State Border Guard Service, and of other establishments of the interior, as well as the officers of the internal service units, re-enlisted non-commissioned officers, and soldiers;

2) the officials of the Special Investigation Service;

3) the servicemen of professional military service;

4) the officials of the system of the State Security Department, the officials of the Second Investigation Department under the Ministry of National Defence, and the civil statutory state servants of the Government Communications Centre under the Ministry of National Defence;

5) the officials of the Prosecutor’s Office;

6) the officials of the Department of Prisons and of the establishments and state enterprises subordinate to it;

7) the officials of customs mobile groups, the officials of customs posts, and the customs officials carrying out criminal intelligence and/or pre-trial investigation.”

Thus, Paragraph 1 (wording of 18 January 2007 with subsequent amendments) of Article 1 of the Law on State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen establishes the final list of the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who serve in certain state institutions and who have the right to receive the state pensions of officials and servicemen.

  1. The petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court and the case considered by it make it clear that in that case the issue of the non-payment of a part of the state pension of officials and servicemen for the former deputy chief of a certain unit of the State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior, who works as a judge at the Trakai District Local Court at present, is being decided. In view of this fact, Paragraph 2 (wordings of 20 January 2006 and 17 October 2012) (impugned by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court) of Article 1 of Law on State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen should be construed in the context of the legal regulation established in the Statute of the Interior Service approved by the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the Approval of the Statute of the Interior Service.
  2. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 20 of the Statute of the Interior Service (wording of 29 April 2003), in the event of official necessity and taking into account the professional training of an official, his or her education level and competence, the official may, with his or her own consent and by order of the Minister of the Interior, be transferred to the position of the equivalent or higher (by one category) grade of a non-statutory state servant (hereinafter referred to as “non-statutory position”) within the Ministry of the Interior or he or she may be assigned to hold the position of the equivalent or higher (by one category) grade in a state institution or establishment and included in the reserve staff of the Ministry of the Interior. Under Paragraph 4 of Article 20 of the Statute of the Interior Service (wording of 29 April 2003), when an official ceases to hold the non-statutory position, the Minister of the Interior shall decide on the further course of the official’s service. When necessary, the official may be transferred to another non-statutory position within the Ministry of the Interior, or transferred to serve in other state institutions or establishments, holding a non-statutory position and remaining included in the reserve staff of the Ministry of the Interior. In the absence of the necessity, the official shall be reinstated in the statutory position.

It should be noted that this legal regulation established in the Statute of the Interior Service means that an official included in the reserve staff of the Ministry of the Interior is not dismissed from the interior service.

  1. Construing the legal regulation established in Paragraph 2 (wordings of 20 January 2006 and 17 October 2012) of Article 1 of the Law on State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen in conjunction with the aforementioned provisions of the Statute of the Interior Service and taking into account the context of the administrative case considered by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, it should be held that the officials of the State Border Guard Service, who, by order of the Minister of the Interior, were transferred to non-statutory positions within the Ministry of the Interior or to the position of the equivalent or higher (by one category) grade of in a state institution or establishment (in other ministries, departments, establishments and organisations of the Republic of Lithuania) and included in the reserve staff of the Ministry of the Interior, have the right to receive the state pensions of officials and servicemen.
  2. It should be noted that it is clear from the administrative case that is considered by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court that the claimant in that case was dismissed from the interior service on his own request due to going on a pension. The said case does not contain any data that he has been included into the reserve staff of the Ministry of the Interior—the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court has not presented any such data. Consequently, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court has adopted a ruling in that administrative case to suspend the consideration of the case and apply to the Constitutional Court regarding Paragraph 2 (wordings of 20 January 2006 and 17 October 2012) of Article 1 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen which is not applicable in the considered administrative case.
  3. Under the Constitution and the Law on the Constitutional Court, no court has locus standi to apply to the Constitutional Court with a petition requesting an investigation into whether a law (part thereof) or another legal act (part thereof) that should not (could not) be applied in the case considered by the court is not in conflict with the Constitution (the Constitutional Court’s decisions of 22 May 2007, 27 June 2007, and 5 July 2007, its ruling of 24 October 2007, its decision of 29 October 2009, its rulings of 29 November 2010, 2 September 2011 and 5 July 2013, and its decision of 17 June 2014).

Under the Law on the Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Court, by its decision, refuses to consider petitions requesting an investigation into the compliance of a legal act with the Constitution if the petition was filed by an institution or person who does not have the right to apply to the Constitutional Court (Item 1 of Paragraph 1 of Article 69).

  1. In the light of the foregoing arguments, the conclusion should be drawn that there is the ground for refusing to consider the petition of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 2 (wordings of 20 January 2006 and 17 October 2012) of Article 1 of the Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the persons and members of municipal councils who hold an office in the state (public) service and discharge the functions of state authority (members of the Seimas, the President of the Republic, ministers, the Prime Minister, judges) are allowed to receive the state pensions of officials, is (was) not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance.

Conforming to Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 22, Article 28, Item 1 of Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 of Article 69 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania adopts the following

decision:

To refuse to consider the petition (No. 1B-43/2014) of the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the petitioner, requesting an investigation into whether Paragraph 2 (wordings of 20 January 2006 and 17 October 2012) of Article 1 of the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on the State Pensions of Officials and Servicemen, to the extent that, according to the petitioner, the persons and members of municipal councils who hold an office in the state (public) service and discharge the functions of state authority (members of the Seimas, the President of the Republic, ministers, the Prime Minister, judges) are allowed to receive the state pensions of officials, is (was) not in conflict with Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law, social orientation, and responsible governance.

This decision of the Constitutional Court is final and not subject to appeal.

Justices of the Constitutional Court:                         Vytautas Greičius
                                                                                             Pranas Kuconis
                                                                                             Gediminas Mesonis
                                                                                             Vytas Milius
                                                                                             Egidijus Šileikis
                                                                                             Algirdas Taminskas
                                                                                             Dainius Žalimas