The lowest limit of the fines imposed on private individuals for non-observance of the pandemic disease prophylaxis, prevention or combating measures, if this fact endangered public health (22,500 lei or 450 conventional units), was declared unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court passed its judgment following the examination of three applications on the issue, IPN reports.
According to the Court, before the modification of the legal framework, the fine imposed on private individuals for the non-observance of the pandemic disease prophylaxis, prevention or combating measures, if this fact endangered public health, was set from the lowest limit of one conventional unit to the highest one of 500 conventional units. The ascertaining agents and courts of law set the fine depending on the concrete circumstances of the case.
In a press briefing, CC president Domnica Manole said the Court examined Article 76 1 par. (1) of the Contravention Code from the angle of the observance of requirements concerning the quality of laws and the principle of individualization of the penalty. As regards the first aspect, the Court noted that the article stipulates that the endangering of public health is an essential element of the offense. The absence of a danger to public health means absence of an objective reason as a constitutive element of an offense. The ascertaining agents should prove and the courts of law should verify in each case apart what actions and omissions of the person endangered public health.
As regards the second aspect, the Court held that the difference between the lowest limit of the fine of 450 conventional units and the highest limit of 500 conventional units in the case of private individuals does not offer the court of law the possibility of assessing the proportionality of the imposed fine against the offense and the circumstance of the case.
On the other hand, in the case of legal entities the lowest and highest limits of the fine are 1,000 and 1,500 conventional units. The difference between limits is of 500 conventional units and the court can individualize the fine depending on the committed offense.
The control of the constitutionality of Article 76 1 par. (1) of the Contravention Code, which stipulates the punishments for legal entities and private individuals for non-observance of the anti-epidemic measures was requested by MPs Octavian Țîcu and Vasile-Andrei Năstase and also by a legal entity fined for not respecting these measures. The applicants said the fine is disproportional to the average official salary and challenged the entity that imposes the fine, which should be a judge, and the actions for which the fine is imposed.
According to statistics presented in the Court’s meeting, 2,998 fines have been imposed so far for the non-observance of the imposed anti-epidemic measures. Of these, 2,806 were imposed on private individuals. Of the total fines, 360 were challenged and 43 were annulled.