Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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31. FOICA vs. "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd


On November 18, 2011, the “Freedom of Information Center” NGO sent an information request to the  director of the "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd Tigran Vardanyan for the following information:

1. Are Your milk products produced by natural or not natural milk?
2. Please provide a list of which milk product of your company is from a natural milk, which is not, and/or provide an information on the quantity of natural milk in each milk product.

The information request of FOICA remained unanswered. Thus, on December 6, 2011, the Freedom of Information Center sent the second information request to the "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd asking to provide the abovementioned information.

In response to the FOICA's second request on December 16, 2011, the company provided an electronic response, according to which the requested information is marked on each packet of the company's product, as well, there was a referral to the company's website. However, the requested information was available neither on the packet of the company's products, nor on the company's website.Thus, the "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd's response was considered to be an unjustified response.

As a result, on December 19, 2011, the FOICA filed a lawsuit in the RA Administrative Court asking to obligate the "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd giving the requested information and imposing an administrative penalty on the director of the company Tigran Vardanyan.

On January 26, 2012, the RA Administrative Court made ​​a decision to reject the adoption of the FOICA's lawsuit finding that the claim is not a subject to the Administrative Court. In other words, the Court considered that the "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd  is not an organization of public importanance. But, the "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd  has a leading role in the goods market, thus, according to the "Freedom of Information" Law of RA the Co. Ltd is considered to be an organization of public importanance.

On February 13, 2012, FOICA appealed the decision of the Administrative Court. On March 5, 2012, the RA Administrative Court of Appeal satisfied the FOICA's claim partially. The Court rejected the FOICA's demand to obligate the "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd providing the requested information and satisfied the demand to impose an administrative penalty on the director of the company.

The court hearing on FOICA vs. "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd case took place on July 18, 2012. The next court hearing dated on September 25, 2012, didn't take place, as the FOICA's representative had applied to the court to postpone the court hearing. The court hearing dated on October 31, 2012, didn't take place. The court hearing dated on December 6, 2012, was also postponed. The next court hearing took place on Fabruary 4, 2013. The trial phase of the case was over.

The court published its decision on February 19, 2013. The court fully satisfied the FOICA's demand  to impose an administrative penalty on the director of the company (fine at the amount of 80.000 AMD, 30.000 AMD from which is for not providing information to the FOICA's first request, and 50.000 AMD for not providing information to the FOICA's second request) and obliged the director of the "Daughter Marianna" Co. Ltd Tigran Vardanyan to compensate court expenses of the FOICA at the amount of 100.000 AMD and the 3.000 AMD state fee paid by the FOICA.

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