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OKD considers the statement released by the “Karviňáci proti těžbě…” (“Karviná People Against Mining ...”) Civil Association and warning against the allegedly dubious procedure in buying up real estate in Karviná-Staré Město untrue and legally incorrect

OKD considers the statement released by the “Karviňáci proti těžbě…” (“Karviná People Against Mining ...”) Civil Association and warning against the allegedly dubious procedure in buying up real estate in Karviná-Staré Město untrue and legally incorrect

Ostrava (December 6, 2012) – On its website and Facebook profile, the “Karviňáci proti těžbě pod městem” (“Karviná People Against Mining Under The City”) Civil Association has published a statement warning against the allegedly dubious procedure of OKD in buying up real estate in Karviná-Staré Město, where Agreements on Mining Damage Settlement in Advance under Section 37, Subsection 4 of the so-called Mining Act are being concluded with the real estate owners. At the same time, this statement has also been received in the form of a leaflet by the Karviná-Staré Město residents in their mailboxes. According to the Civil Association, such a procedure may consequently be unfavourable to the real estate owners, and in the future, an obligation to return a portion of the received funds will allegedly threaten to them. OKD strongly protests against this statement, and based on a legal opinion, OKD considers it untrue and legally incorrect.

 

In its statement, the Civil Association cites the relevant provision of the Mining Act (Act No. 44/1988 Coll., as amended): “In justified cases, particularly if it is necessary to solve in advance the traffic safety and continuity, relocations of public roads, utility lines, telecommunication lines and equipment, substitute housing or special-purpose buildings, it is possible to provide in advance a benefit of up to the anticipated damage amount provided that any such benefit shall be set off against the damage compensation. If the actual damage amount does not reach the provided benefit amount, the arising overpayment amount shall be returned.”
The cited provision applies to a factual and legal situation that is absolutely different from the situation being currently solved by OKD in Karviná-Staré Město. In the said provision, the Mining Act regulates the damage compensation provided in advance for repairs associated with mining effects, which may finally be financially less demanding as a result of smaller effects of the mining. The damaged building does not however cease to exist. However in the case of the advance settlement, this represents an integral act of solving the conflicts of interests, and not any mining damage remediation.

Moreover, the wording of the Act is to be considered in a wider context with a link to the relevant provisions of the Civil Code, and in particular, with respect to the contractual relationship of the parties. The financial benefit provided in advance represents an anticipated damage amount, is quantified and contractually agreed by and between both the parties. It is mutually agreed and recognized. The benefit amount is indisputable, and all that including the Agreement on Settlement Method.
According to the valid legislation, it can be stated that should the mining not be commenced, OKD would not have any legal title to claim an imaginary portion of the already provided benefit upon the aggrieved parties. It would act contrary to good morals, which would be in conflict with the law.
In a rule-of-law state, and OKD considers our country to be such a state, concluded contracts and agreements are adhered to. The contractual relationships being concluded by and between OKD and the owners of real estate in the Cadastral Area of Karviná-Staré Město result from the mutual agreement which cannot be questioned, and OKD does not intend to do so in the future either.

 

Vladislav Sobol, Spokesman, OKD, a.s.

 

Mobile:  725 595 417    E-mail:  vladislav.sobol@okd.cz

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