by Boris Fedorovich SHAROV
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 14 April 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Sverre Erik Jebens,
George Nicolaou, judges,
and André Wampach, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 14 June 2002,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicant,
Having regard to the comments submitted by the Russian Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Boris Fedorovich Sharov, is a Russian national who was born in 1925 and lives in Moscow. He was represented before the Court by Mr R. Khromchenko, a lawyer practising in Moscow. The Russian Government (“the Government”) were represented by Mr P. Laptev and then by Mr G. Matyushkin, Representatives of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 15 November 2001 Mr Antonenko was registered as a candidate in the elections to the Moscow City Duma.
On 14 December 2001 a private person K. lodged a complaint with a court, seeking to cancel the registration of Mr Antonenko because he had allegedly omitted to enter a part of his income on his property declaration form and because he had allegedly abused his official position for electoral campaigning.
At 10.40 p.m. on 15 December 2001 the Moscow City Court delivered the judgment by which Mr Antonenko’s registration was cancelled.
At 7.45 a.m. on the following day (the voting day) district electoral commission no. 5 issued the decision to strike Mr Antonenko’s name out of the list of candidates. While the striking out of his name from the information stand was carried out without further delay, the manual correction of the voting ballots was not completed until 8.30 a.m.
On the voting day the applicant had cast his vote for Mr Antonenko before his name was struck out of the ballot.
On 18 December 2001 and 20 February 2002 the applicant, together with fifty-seven other persons, complained to the Moscow City Court, seeking the annulment of the decision by the district electoral commission to disqualify Mr Antonenko and to overturn the decision by the city electoral commission approving the election results.
On 17 May 2002 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the judgment of 29 March 2002.
In a parallel set of proceedings, on 20 December 2001 and 17 January 2002 the applicant, together with ten other aggrieved voters, complained to the Timiryazevskiy District Court about the unlawful actions of the district electoral commission.
On 22 January 2002 the Timiryazevskiy District Court of Moscow found that complaint unsubstantiated and dismissed it.
The applicant complained under Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 about a violation of his right to vote in that his vote for Mr Antonenko had been “wasted” because his ballot paper had been declared invalid and not counted in the final tally.
On 21 January 2005 the application was communicated to the respondent Government.
On 16 May 2005 the Government’s observations on the admissibility and merits of the application were received and the applicant submitted his observations in reply on 5 July 2005.
On 17 February 2006 the applicant informed the court that he was not aware of the outcome of his appeal proceedings.
On 1 September 2008 the Court informed the applicant that the Government had been requested to inform it of the outcome of the proceedings initiated by the applicant before the Timiryazevskiy District Court of Moscow. The Government submitted the requested information on 17 October 2008.
By a letter dated 23 October 2008, sent by registered post, the Government’s additional observations were sent to the applicant’s representative, who was requested to comment on them by 1 December 2008. No reply was received.
On 28 January 2009 the applicant was advised by registered mail that the failure to submit his comments by 25 February 2009 might result in the strike-out of the application. To date the applicant has not replied.
The Court recalls Article 37 of the Convention which, in the relevant part, reads as follows:
“1. The Court may at any stage of the proceedings decide to strike an application out of its list of cases where the circumstances lead to the conclusion that
(a) the applicant does not intend to pursue his application;
However, the Court shall continue the examination of the application if respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and the Protocols thereto so requires.”
The Court notes that the applicant was advised that he was to submit his comments. No response has been received to date and the applicant did not inform the Court of new contact details if he had changed his representative. The Court infers from this that the applicant does not intend to pursue the application (Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention). Furthermore, it considers that respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols does not require it to continue the examination of the case (Article 37 § 1 in fine of the Convention). Accordingly, Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Wampach Christos Rozakis
Deputy Registrar President