COVID-19 fines to be refunded

COVID-19 fines to be refunded

COVID-19 fines to be refunded

The top court has annulled the article regarding the non-refundability of the administrative fines paid for violating the mask mandate during the pandemic — paving the way for reimbursement of the already paid penalties.

The court’s annulment decision dated April 5 was published in May 24’s Official Gazette and entered into force.

With the annulment decision, people who were fined and paid administrative fines regarding the obligation to wear masks and other prohibitions during the COVID-19 pandemic that affected millions will be able to recover the amount they paid.

Lawyer Kerem Olcayto stated that the legal benefit of the decision is that “chaos was prevented.”

“If this decision had not been made, those who paid this money would have taken legal action before the Administrative Court. There would have been thousands of cases,” Olcayto said.

According to Olcayto, with this decision, thousands of collective and/or individual applications and possible loss of rights and inequalities have been prevented, as “it is a correct and appropriate decision in terms of law and justice.”

Olcayto also pointed out that citizens can get their money back through individual applications and that the amount paid will not be credited automatically to the person’s account if an application is not filed.

“For all other debts paid, an administrative annulment lawsuit must be filed. It is not automatically the case that the top court overturned the decision and that this also covers other debts. An application should be made to the court for the annulment of whichever penalties are requested to be annulled. It is not a precedent for other decisions,” Olcayto explained.

Previously, in response to this decision that the fines paid during the pandemic will not be refunded, İzmir 4th Administrative Court filed an annulment lawsuit and an application was made to the top court for the annulment of this decision as it is “contrary to the principle of equality” regulated in Article 10 of the Turkish Constitution.