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Ezugbaia, Chairperson: Georgian Railway Withholds Pensions from Former rail worker

Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori
Gogi Miruashvili, a resident of the village of Kvakhvreli in Gori District, died of heart attack when a court summon was delivered to his house. As it was later learned, Irakli Ezugbaia was in opposition to the seventy-five-year-old man. Currently, Ezugbaia can only appeal against Makvala Miruashvili, wife of the deceased, as she Gogi Miruashvili’s legal surrogate. The topic for argument is whether or not the dead person received pension by mistake.

On December 13 2007 Gori District Court received a suit of the specialists for the Legal Department within the Georgian Railway Department. As we have found out the department did not only bring a suit against the now deceased man but three others were respondents in the case brought by the Railway Department: Anzor Miruashvili, Zaur Aphkhazashvili, residents of Kvakhvreli and Pharviza Gabinashvili, a resident of the village of Uphlistsikhe.

The suit of the railway department states that “because of mistakes in accounting report from January 1 2006 to May 1 2007 the defendants received extra 3,234.75 GEL.

1) Anzor Miruashvili received an extra 919, 30 GEL
2) Gogi Miruashvili – 822. 31 GEL
3) Pharviza Gabinashvili -573.84 GEL
4) Zaur Aphkhazashvili – 919.30 GEL 

Valeri Gabrielashvili, the head of the Legal Department of the Georgian Railway Ltd: “Georgian Civil Code Article 385 states that “the money paid without an obligation may be recovered based on the principle unjust enrichment.” Article 979 Paragraph I of the same code states “the claim for restitution is extended to the purchased, received values as well as to anything that the recipient has purchased as compensation for destruction, damage or withdrawal of the received amount.” Consequently, the defendants lacked legal grounds to consider the thing transferred to them and they should have restituted the money.”

Case materials demonstrated that based on the decision of the Tbilisi Gldani-Nadzaladevi District Court, dated by January 21 2000 and the decision of Civil, Entrepreneur and Bankruptcy Appeal Chamber of the Tbilisi Civil Court, dated by March 11 2003, Anzor Miruashvili was ordered to pay an initial 572 GEL and then 60 GEL a month to Georgian Railway Ltd. 

On August 25 1992 Tbilisi Nadzaladevi District Court made a decision which charged the Tbilisi Wagon Division # 2 of the Railway Department to pay an initial 1,264 GEL to Giorgi (Gogi) Miruashvili; and that since September of 1992, the department had an obligation to 78, 96 GEL a month to Miruashvili. 

On February 25 2002 Tbilisi Gldani-Nadzaladevi District Court decided to satisfy the appeal of Pharviza Gabinashvili for the reimbursement of his damage and the defendant, Georgian Railway Ltd was ordered to pay initial 309 GEL and 40 GEL a month as a monthly income amount.

On July 6 1999 the head of the Wagon Division of the Georgian Railway Department made a resolution # 4/47 which stated that train attendant Zaur Aphkhazashvili shall receive monthly 32 GEL as a reimbursement for the damage after February 9 1999.

It was obvious and based on the documents that prove that above-mentioned people had received compensations for various injuries they had received during their professional activities. Similar situations are regulated by Georgian President’s resolution # 48, dated by February 9 1999. The title of the resolution is the “Rule of Reimbursement of the Damage that Occurs While Professional Activities”.

On September 11 2003 Georgian President introduced amendments to the above-mentioned rule based on his resolution # 443. Paragraph 12 states the following. “The reimbursement of the damage is based on the minimum salary estimated by the employer’s organization or monthly payment will be reviewed by the employer regardless the actual date of the incident.”

Georgian Railway Ltd explains the above-mentioned amendment as follow: “On September 11 2003 the monthly payment had to be reviewed if it was based on minimal salary in the organization. In this particular case the damaged person received the payment from the average salary of a train attendant. In addition to that Georgian President’s resolution # 923, November 7 2005, stated that paragraph 12 was omitted from the initial rule and the employer was discharged from the responsibility of having to review the amount of the payment,” said the lawyer for the Railway Department.

The lawyer also added that because of the accountant’s mistake, workers received pensions by mistake.

Davit Papuashvili, the judge of the Gori District Court, did not satisfy the suit of the legal department of the Georgian Railway. The lawyer of the Human Rights Center considers that the judge made a fair decision; moreover, the Georgian Railway admitted in its suit that their accountant was responsible for making a mistake.

The Railway Department intends to appeal against the decision of Gori’s District Court.

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