China / Society

Pay judgment or feel pinch, top court says

By Cao Yin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-07-22 07:54

People who refuse to comply with judgments against them, such as debtors, will be subject to more restrictions in ordinary daily life, as well as in business operations, officials at China's top court said.

In the past, people who failed to carry out judgments were limited in their ability to purchase luxuries. But now, even some normal consumption items will be restricted under a rule issued by the Supreme People's Court.

For example, under the old rule published in 2010, people who failed to repay debts as ordered by a court were barred from purchasing railway tickets that included soft sleepers, since the higher price was evidence that they could afford to pay, said Liu Guixiang, director of the Judgment Enforcement Department of the top court.

"But with the roaring economy and our railways' fast development, the old rule has not stopped the debtors, which is why it's coming up now," Liu said.

In addition to buying tickets for soft sleepers, debtors are banned from buying any high-speed railway ticket or a first-class seat on other trains.

"In other words, the restriction is enlarged. It's not just limited to luxury items," Liu said, adding that the move is designed to get debtors to pay back quickly.

"Implementing verdicts has been a big difficulty to overcome for a long time, which has damaged the judgments' credibility and our courts' image," he said.

Under the new rule, debtors are limited in their ability to purchase or build houses, rent luxury apartments for work, buy cars, play golf and eat in hotels.

In addition, they are not allowed to travel or take a vacation, and their children cannot study in high-tuition private schools.

In 2013, the top court established a blacklist of people who refused to comply with judgments. By December 2014, more than 700,000 people were on the list, and their names and identity card numbers were disclosed online.

"The restriction rule and the blacklist are two major measures for us to push dishonest people to follow through on judgments against them," said Zhang Genda, deputy director of the department.

However, Zhang added, basic daily requirements, even those of dishonest individuals, need to be protected "because we have to ensure they have what they need to live".

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