Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

The Police groundlessly fined a citizen, the Police Chief recognized the decision invalid

October 20, 2022

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Having received a notice on being fined AMD 50,000 for smoking at the station, Abovyan town resident H.Kh. applied to HCA Vanadzor to have his rights protected. With the support of HCA Vanadzor, the decision was appealed, after which, the Police recognized it invalid.


The problem is that the Kotayk region Police made the decision to fine the citizen without sufficient grounds. The protocol on the incident is the only document based on which the decision was made. However, the citizen did not agree with the protocol. The police proceeded with their violations.


The Police did not observe the legal procedures, either. In particular, within three days upon instituting the administrative proceedings, participants of the proceedings must be notified about the place, date and time of the proceedings. The proceedings were initiated on 1 August 2022, the citizen received the notice on August 17 through postal delivery, while the notice was handed to the post on August 4.


With regard to the substance of the proceedings, it was not formulated clearly: the date of initiation of the proceedings is unknown,  July 22 was mentioned as the day of the alleged offence, and July 12 was mentioned as the date for investigating the case. With respect to the amount of the fine, different amounts are mentioned in different parts of the case.


Thus, the decision was made by violation of fundamental requirements of the RA Law on Fundamentals of Administration and Administrative Proceedings. 


With the support of HCA Vanadzor, the citizen made an administrative appeal to the Chief of the RA Police, as a result of which, the decision on administrative offence was recognized invalid on September 26.


This is yet another manifestation of unlawful activities of police officers. Studies conducted by HCA Vanadzor show that the index of public trust in Police has decreased over recent years. Unlawful activities of the Police are one of the reasons behind this. While the police officer’s unlawful decision was abolished and the citizen was not held groundlessly liable, we should note that unfortunately, this is still a rare case and not a pattern. Only by making elimination of such ungrounded cases a regular pattern can we overcome impunity and achieve unconditional legality of police activities. 

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