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On accepting a petition of the petitioner

 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

DECISION

ON THE PETITION OF A GROUP OF MEMBERS OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA, THE PETITIONER, REQUESTING TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW ON THE STATE ANNUITY OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

12 January 2011
Vilnius

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, composed of the Justices of the Constitutional Court Armanas Abramavičius, Toma Birmontienė, Pranas Kuconis, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Zenonas Namavičius, Egidijus Šileikis, Algirdas Taminskas, and Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis,

with the secretary—Daiva Pitrėnaitė,

in a procedural sitting of the Constitutional Court considered the petition (No. 1B-154/2010) of a group of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether the provisions of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania are not in conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Constitutional Court

has established:

A group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, is requesting “to investigate:

whether the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic entrenched in the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. X-980, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 141-5405; No. X-1799, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 135-5235), where the conditions of implementation of this annuity and the amount thereof are inseparably related with the state annuity of the President of the Republic, is not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 and Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law;

whether the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. X-980, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 141-5405; No. X-1799, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 135-5235), as well as the conditions of granting and payment of this annuity, to the extent that it is established that the right to the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic also appears to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, who was not the spouse of the President at the time when the President was holding office, is not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 and Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law;

whether the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic and the legal regulation of implementation of this right, which are entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (No. X-980, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 141-5405; No. X-1799, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 135-5235), to the extent that it is established that the amount of the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic shall be 50 percent of the state annuity of the President of the Republic, the state annuity is granted and/or paid to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic regardless of his/her age, received pensions or stable payments of pensionary character, save the situations established in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the aforesaid article, and that it is not established that, while granting the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, one must take account of the property held by the corresponding person, the length of marriage, the merits of the person for the state and other conditions, is not in conflict with Article 52, Paragraph 4 of Article 77 and Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law”.

The Constitutional Court

holds that:

1. The group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, inter alia is requesting to investigate “whether the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic entrenched in the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania x(No. X-980, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 141-5405; No. X-1799, Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 135-5235), where the conditions of implementation of this annuity and the amount thereof are inseparably related with the state annuity of the President of the Republic, is not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 and Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law”.

1.1. In its petition to investigate the compliance of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania with the Constitution, the petitioner indicates the number of this law (No. X-980) and the source—the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2006, No. 141-5405), in which the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania of the wording of 12 December 2006 was officially published, also it makes reference to the official gazette “Valstybės žinios” (Official Gazette Valstybės žinios, 2008, No. 135-5235), in which the Law on Amending Article 7 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (whereby Paragraphs 3 and 7 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 12 December 2006)) adopted on 11 November 2008 was officially published. It needs to be noted that no other articles (parts thereof) of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 12 December 2006) were amended and/or supplemented prior to the application by the petitioner to the Constitutional Court.

1.2. The group of Members of the Seimas is requesting to investigate the compliance of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania with inter alia Paragraph 4 of Article 77 of the Constitution.

Article 77 of the Constitution prescribes:

The President of the Republic shall be Head of State.

He shall represent the State of Lithuania and shall perform everything with which he is charged by the Constitution and laws.”

Thus, the group of the Members of the Seimas is requesting to investigate the compliance of the disputed law with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 of the Constitution, which does not exist in this article. Therefore, the petition of the petitioner, to the extent that it is requested to investigate the compliance of the provisions of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania with Paragraph 4 (which, as mentioned, does not exist in this article of the Constitution) of Article 77 of the Constitution, cannot be accepted for consideration at the Constitutional Court.

1.3. The petition of the group of Members of the Seimas requesting to investigate whether the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic entrenched in the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 12 December 2006 with the subsequent amendment), where the conditions of implementation of this annuity and the amount thereof are inseparably related with the state annuity of the President of the Republic, is not in conflict with Article 90 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law, is virtually substantiated by legal reasoning and is virtually in line with other requirements established in the Law on the Constitutional Court, therefore, the petition to this extent is acceptable for consideration at the Constitutional Court.

2. The group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, inter alia is requesting to investigate “whether the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania <…>, as well as the conditions of granting and payment of this annuity, to the extent that it is established that the right to the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic also appears to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, who was not the spouse of the President at the time when the President was holding office, is not in conflict with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 and Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law”.

It has been mentioned the group of the Members of the Seimas is requesting to investigate the compliance of the disputed law with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 of the Constitution, which does not exist in this article, therefore, the petition of the petitioner, to the extent that it is requested to investigate the compliance of the provisions of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 of the Constitution, cannot be accepted for consideration at the Constitutional Court.

The petition of the group of Members of the Seimas requesting to investigate whether Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania to the extent that they establish that the right to the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic also appears to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, who was not the spouse of the President of the Republic at the time when the President of the Republic was holding office, are not in conflict with Article 90 of the Constitution, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law, is virtually substantiated by legal reasoning and is virtually in line with other requirements established in the Law on the Constitutional Court, therefore, the petition to this extent is acceptable for consideration at the Constitutional Court.

3. The group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, inter alia is requesting to investigate “whether the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic and the legal regulation of implementation of this right, which are entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania <…>, to the extent that it is established that the amount of the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic shall be 50 percent of the state annuity of the President of the Republic, the state annuity is granted and/or paid to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic regardless of his/her age, received pensions or stable payments of pensionary character, save the situations established in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the aforesaid article, and that it is not established that, while granting the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, one must take account of the property held by the corresponding person, the length of marriage, the merits of the person for the state and other conditions, is not in conflict with Article 52, Paragraph 4 of Article 77 and Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law”.

3.1. The legal regulation of the right to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, to the extent that it is established that “the amount of the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic shall be 50 percent of the state annuity of the President of the Republic”, is entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. In its petition the petitioner has not indicated this article and has not requested that the compliance thereof with the Constitution be investigated.

3.2. It has been mentioned that the group of the Members of the Seimas is requesting to investigate the compliance of the disputed law with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 of the Constitution, which does not exist in this article, therefore, the petition of the petitioner, to the extent that it is requested to investigate into the compliance of the provisions of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 of the Constitution, cannot be accepted for consideration at the Constitutional Court.

3.3. Paragraph 1 of Article 4 “Persons Entitled to Receive the State Annuity of the Widow(er) or an Orphan of the President of the Republic” of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania prescribes: “The spouse of a deceased President of the Republic, who is a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the widow(er)), shall be entitled to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of President of the Republic.”

Article 5 “Conditions for Granting and Paying the State Annuity of the Widow(er) and an Orphan of the President of the Republic” of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania prescribes:

1. The state annuity of the widow(er) and an orphan of President of the Republic shall be granted upon the death of the President of the Republic who has been granted the state annuity of the President of the Republic or who was eligible to it.

2. The state annuity of the widow(er) of President of the Republic shall be granted and/or paid to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic regardless of his/her age, received pensions or received constant payments of pensionary character, save the cases established in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article.

3. With respect to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, who has the right to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic and a state pension and/or a payment of pensionary character, which are granted under the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and are paid from the State Budget of the Republic of Lithuania, at his/her choice only one of the following payments shall be paid: either the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, or the state pension, or the payment of pensionary character.

4. The state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic shall not be granted, whereas the granted state annuity shall not be paid as long as the widow(er) of the President of the Republic has the insured income. The notion of the insured income is understood as it is defined in the Republic of Lithuania Law on State Social Insurance.

5. Upon his/her marriage, the widow(er) who receives the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic is no longer paid this annuity.

6. The state annuity of an orphan of the President of the Republic is granted and/or paid to orphans of the President of the Republic, regardless of pensions received by them and/or their insured income.”

Thus, the provision (“The state annuity of the widow(er) of President of the Republic shall be granted and/or paid to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic regardless of his/her age, received pensions or received constant payments of pensionary character, save the cases established in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article”) which is disputed by the petitioner is entrenched in Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania.

The petitioner is also requesting to investigate something, which has not been established in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 (in both to the same extent) of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, however, in the opinion of the petitioner, it should have been established, i.e. that in the course of granting the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic account must be taken of the property held by the person, the length of marriage, the merits of the person to the state and other conditions.

3.4. While taking account of the fact that the petitioner is not requesting to investigate Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, and while taking account of the fact that the group of the Members of the Seimas is requesting to investigate the compliance of the disputed law with Paragraph 4 of Article 77 of the Constitution, which does not exist in this article, the petition of the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting to investigate “whether the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic and the legal regulation of implementation of this right, which are entrenched in Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania <…>, to the extent that it is established that the amount of the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic shall be 50 percent of the state annuity of the President of the Republic, the state annuity is granted and/or paid to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic regardless of his/her age, received pensions or stable payments of pensionary character, save the situations established in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the aforesaid article, and that it is not established that, while granting the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, one must take account of the property held by the corresponding person, the length of marriage, the merits of the person for the state and other conditions, is not in conflict with Article 52, Paragraph 4 of Article 77 and Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law”, is to be treated as a petition, requesting to investigate whether Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, to the extent that it is established that the state annuity is granted and/or paid to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic regardless of his/her age, received pensions or stable payments of pensionary character, save the situations established in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the aforesaid article, also, whether Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of this law, to the extent that they do not establish that, while granting the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, one must take account of the property held by the corresponding person, the length of marriage, the merits of the person for the state and other conditions, are not in conflict with Articles 52, 90 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law.

3.5. The petition of the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, to the extent that it is established that the state annuity is granted and/or paid to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic regardless of his/her age, received pensions or stable payments of pensionary character, save the situations established in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the aforesaid article, also, whether Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of this law, to the extent that they do not establish that, while granting the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, one must take account of the property held by the corresponding person, the length of marriage, the merits of the person for the state and other conditions, are not in conflict with Articles 52, 90 of the Constitution and with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law, is virtually substantiated by legal reasoning and is virtually in line with other requirements established in the Law on the Constitutional Court, therefore, the petition to this extent is acceptable for consideration at the Constitutional Court.

4. The decision of the Constitutional Court on accepting the petition neither approves of nor denies the arguments upon which the group of Members of the Seimas, the petitioner, grounds its position; when adopting a such decision, the fact of essential significance is whether the petition of the petitioner is grounded on legal reasoning (Constitutional Court decisions of 8 January 2008, 8 October 2008, 3 April 2009, 14 May 2009, and 19 March 2010).

Conforming to Paragraph 1 of Article 102 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Paragraph 1 of Article 28 and Article 66 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has passed the following

decision:

To accept for consideration the petition of the group of Members of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the petitioner, requesting to investigate whether:

the right of the spouse (citizen of the Republic of Lithuania) of a deceased President of the Republic to receive the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic entrenched in the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania (wording of 12 December 2006 with the subsequent amendment), where the conditions of implementation of this annuity and the amount thereof are inseparably related with the state annuity of the President of the Republic, is not in conflict with Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law;

Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, to the extent that they establish that the right to the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic also appears to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, who was not the spouse of the President of the Republic at the time when the President of the Republic was holding office, are not in conflict with Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law;

Article 5 of the Law on the State Annuity of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, to the extent that it is established that the state annuity is granted and/or paid to the widow(er) of the President of the Republic regardless of his/her age, received pensions or stable payments of pensionary character, save the situations established in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the aforesaid article, also, whether Paragraph 1 of Article 4 and Article 5 of this law, to the extent that they do not establish that, while granting the state annuity of the widow(er) of the President of the Republic, one must take account of the property held by the corresponding person, the length of marriage, the merits of the person for the state and other conditions, are not in conflict with Articles 52, 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the constitutional principles of social harmony, justice and a state under the rule of law.

Justices of the Constitutional Court: Armanas Abramavičius
                                                                      Toma Birmontienė
                                                                      Pranas Kuconis
                                                                      Kęstutis Lapinskas
                                                                      Zenonas Namavičius
                                                                      Egidijus Šileikis
                                                                      Algirdas Taminskas
                                                                      Romualdas Kęstutis Urbaitis