Petro Bondarenko from Talnivshchyna never received the certificate of the category 1 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster victim. For a long time, the local public safety department fobbed off the man with formal replies.
As a result, the man appealed to court. However, there was no positive outcome of the trial. Such a case is not isolated. After all, only for the period 2017–2018, there were filed about 120 similar claims according to the data of the Unified State Register of Court Decisions.
About the case
Petro Bondarenko had a disease which was caused by the Chernobyl NPP disaster and led to his disability. That fact was confirmed by the certificate added to the medical and social expert commission’s examination report. So, accordingly, he applied for the issuance of category 1 certificate. However, the Administration for Social Protection of Population of Talne RSA didn’t submit an application to the Department of Social Protection of Population of Cherkasy DSA to grant the complainant the Chernobyl NPP disaster victim status.
Note, that persons who as at January 1, 1993, had permanently resided or worked in areas of intensive radioecological control over four years, according to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of January 20, 1997, No. 51, are recognized the Chernobyl NPP disaster victims and are eligible to receive benefits and compensation, stipulated by Law No. 796-XII.
Petro Bondarenko appealed to Cherkasy District Administrative Court with a corresponding claim. In his statement of claim, Bondarenko requested to declare illegitimate the Talne relevant administration’s decision to reject his application. In addition, due to systematic refusals to grant him the Chernobyl NPP disaster category 1 victim status on similar grounds, as evidenced by the Unified Registry of Judicial Decisions, namely the cases No. 823/1817/17 and No. 823/551/18, he requested the court to initiate disciplinary proceedings against those responsible.
In turn, the Administration for Social Protection of Population of Talne RSA did not admit the claim. Legal reasoning affirms the following: due to the Law of Ukraine of December 28, 2014, No. 76-VIII “On Amendments and Considering Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Void and Without Effect,” in the list of radioactive contamination areas there is no intensive radioecological control area where the complainant resides, as a result of exclusion of Article 23 of the Law of Ukraine “On Status and Social Protection of Citizens Who Are Chernobyl NPP Disaster Victims,” which was providing benefits and compensation to persons classified as the Chernobyl NPP disaster category 4 victims.
However, as can be seen from the case file, the complainant has all the legal grounds for granting him the status of the Chernobyl NPP disaster category 1 victim and issuing him the category 1 victim certificate, since Article 14 of Law No. 796-XII stipulates that the Chernobyl NPP disaster category 1 victims include the disabled from among the Chernobyl NPP disaster victims, in whose cases there was established a causal link between their disability and the Chernobyl NPP disaster, which was established, in particular, by the medical and social expert commission No. 1.
The court noted that the complainant had actually been examined by the MSEC on July 3, 2018, i.e. after the entry into force of the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments and Considering Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Void and Without Effect” of December 28, 2014, No. 76-VIII, but to solve the issue on granting the complainant the category 1 victim status, the fact he had been examined by the MSEC after January 1, 2015, had no legal value because the court found that at the time of the MSEC’s examination the complainant had the Chernobyl NPP disaster category 4 victim status, which was to be maintained for lifetime, unless the category was changed.
The court decided to completely satisfy the administrative claim. Therefore, the actions of the Administration for Social Protection of Population of Talne Regional State Administration were declared illegitimate.
A troubled case that can be called typical
According to the data of the Unified State Register of Court Decisions, for the period 2017–2018, there were filed about 120 claims, in which the defendant was the Administration for Social Protection of Population of District State Administration and the complainant was an individual with the Chernobyl NPP disaster victim status, with the existing category 4 certificate.
The social protection body systematically violates the rights of people most in need of state protection. Hundreds of cases came to court and were resolved in favor of people, but officials did not make any conclusions and continued to violate the rights of socially unprotected individuals. These people continue to go to work and receive a salary from our taxes though still keep violating the law. And how many people gave up and didn’t go to court? The lack of officials’ personal responsibility leads to the fact that they forget their defined by the Law of Ukraine “On State Service” duty to respect the dignity, prevent violations of the rights and freedoms of the man and citizen.