Application no. 27005/03
by Nenad PANOVIĆ
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 21 September 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mrs F. Tulkens,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mr A. Kovler,
Mrs E. Steiner,
Mr K. Hajiyev, judges,
and Mr S. Nielsen, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 14 July 2003,
Having regard to the decision to apply Article 29 § 3 of the Convention and examine the admissibility and merits of the case together.
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Nenad Panović, is a Croatian national who was born in 1927 and lives in Zagreb. He was represented before the Court by Mr D. Plišo, a lawyer practising in Zagreb. The Croatian Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mrs Š. Stažnik.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The applicant’s pension was regularly adjusted in line with the increase in wages and living expenses pursuant to the 1991 Pension Insurance Act (Zakon o osnovnim pravima iz mirovinskog i invalidskog osiguranja - Official Gazette no. 53/1991). On 13 February 1997 the Law on Indexing Pensions and Other Payments from Pension and Invalidity Insurance Funds and on Management of the Pension and Invalidity Insurance Funds (Zakon o usklađivanju mirovina i drugih novčanih primanja iz mirovinskog i invalidskog osiguranja, te upravljanju fondovima mirovinskog i invalidskog osiguranja - Official Gazette no. 20/1997) (“the Pension Indexing Act”) was passed, which abrogated the provisions of the 1991 Pensions Act and regulated the adjustment of pensions. The new law did not bring the pensions in line with the increase in wages and living expenses. On 12 May 1998 the Constitutional Court declared certain provisions of the aforementioned 1997 legislation unconstitutional.
On 18 June 1998 the applicant requested the Croatian Pension Fund, Zagreb Office (“the Zagreb Office”) to adjust his pension in line with the Constitutional Court’s decision. He received no reply.
On 2 September 1998 the applicant appealed to the Croatian Pension Fund, Central Office (“the Central Office”) for failure to respond. Again, he received no reply.
On 11 November 1998 the applicant filed an action with the Administrative Court (Upravni sud Republike Hrvatske) for failure of the administrative authorities to respond (tužba zbog šutnje administracije).
On 20 March 2002 the Administrative Court gave judgment and ordered the Central Office to decide on the applicant’s appeal within 30 days.
On 26 August 2003 the Central Office accepted the applicant’s appeal and ordered the Zagreb Office to decide on his request. On 5 November 2003 the Zagreb Office decided on the applicant’s request and, no appeal having been lodged, this decision became final.
The applicant complains under Article 6 § 1 taken alone and in conjunction with Article 13 of the Convention about the failure of the administrative authorities to decide on his request.
The Court recalls that notice of the application was given to the Government on 6 December 2004. The Government submitted their observations on the admissibility and merits of the applicant’s complaint on 1 March 2005. The applicant, who was represented by a lawyer, has failed to submit observations in reply. Moreover, he has failed to respond to the communications from the Registry of the Court, the last of which was a registered letter dated 29 March 2006 warning the applicant of the possibility that his case might be struck out of the Court’s list if he failed to respond.
Having regard to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, the Court concludes that the applicant does not intend to pursue the application. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the further examination of this case. Accordingly, the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention to the case should be discontinued and the application struck off the list of cases.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Søren Nielsen Christos Rozakis
PANOVIĆ v. CROATIA DECISION
PANOVIĆ v. CROATIA DECISION