AGREEMENT OF DONATION OF PROPERTY CONCLUDED BY LIQUIDATED RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION WITH DANISH ORGANIZATION RULED INVALID
Website of Prosecutor's Office of Kostroma oblast, 22 January 2019
By decision of the Sharya district court of Kostroma oblast, the demand of the prosecutor's office of the oblast was granted to find to be invalid an agreement concluded by a liquidated religious organization and a Danish organization of donation of immovable property in the form of nonresidential premises of 171.6 square meters in area and a parcel of land of 520.1 square meters, located in the city of Sharya, valued at a tital of more than 2.7 million rubles.
The basis for the appeal to the court was the following circumstances.
In April 2017, by decision of the Russian Supreme Court, because of the conduct of extremist activity, the religious organization "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" and departments that were a part of its structure were liquidated, including the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses operating on the territory of the city of Sharya. On the basis of article 9 of the federal law "On combating extremist activity, the property of the liquidated organization was transferred to the ownership of the Russian Federation.
Back before the adoption by the Russian Supreme Court of the decision on liquidation of the organization, on 9 February 2017, the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in the city of Sharya of Kostroma oblast concluded an agreement of donation of immovable property with the association "Watchtower Bible and Tract Society" of Denmark.
The procedure of the alienation of immovable property was carried out after the issuance to the religious organization "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" of a warning about the impermissibility of conducting extremist activity, with the explanation of the consequences in the form of possible liquidation of the religious association and after the demand by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation for conducting an unscheduled inspection of the activity of the organization, addressed to the Ministry of Justice of the RF. In connection with this, the prosecutor concluded that the goal of the conclusion of the agreement for donation was avoidance of the occurrence of consequences unfavorable to the local religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses in the city of Sharya, in the form of the loss of property belonging to it by reason of the subsequent transfer of this property to the ownership of the Russian Federation, and he demanded that the agreement be found to be invalid through judicial proceedings.
The district court agreed with the position of the prosecutor of Kostroma oblast. By decision of the court, the agreement of donation was ruled to be invalid, and the consequences of the invalidity of the deal were applied. The immovable property in the form of a nonresidential building of 171.6 square meters in area and a land parcel of 520.1 square meters in area, located in the city of Sharya, was transferred to the ownership of the Russian Federation.
The court's decision has not taken legal effect. (tr. by PDS, posted 22 January 2019)
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