Courts take action against noncompliant defaulters

Updated: Jun 8, 2023 China Daily Print
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A man banned from purchasing airline and high-speed train tickets for his failure to comply with a legal verdict was fined 500 yuan ($70) by a court in Sichuan province on Monday after he disobeyed the order.

The defaulter surnamed Wei was given the ban by the Qingyang District People's Court in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, on Feb 20 because he had failed to repay bank loans.

When issuing the ban, the court said it would not be lifted until Wei complied with the verdict and repaid the loans.

Judges later found Wei had flown from Tibet to Sichuan on April 28 after buying a ticket from a scalper.

"Wei's behavior has violated the ban, meaning that he should be punished," the court said on Monday. "Considering he admitted the mistake, we decided to give him a fine."

In the past decade, Chinese courts have taken various steps against loan defaulters, including imposing restrictions in their daily lives, to push them into paying off their debts as soon as possible.

The Supreme People's Court, the country's top court, has prohibited defaulters from buying tickets for flights and various train seats, or even stopped them from being able to purchase high-priced items such as golf club memberships or real estate. These actions are designed to introduce a degree of inconvenience into defaulters' lives to compel them to change their ways.

The top court clarified that defaulters breaking such rulings will be detained or fined, noting that those with serious violations will face criminal liabilities.

Last month, the top court required courts nationwide to thoroughly review defaulters, and introduce harsher punishments against those who breach bans. It made the requirement after finding some defaulters continued to buy flight and train tickets from scalpers.

In addition to Wei in Sichuan, workers at Beijing Capital International Airport also found the passport information of a passenger surnamed Li was different from the material he had provided for booking a ticket from Beijing to Wuhan, Hubei province, on May 25, according to a report in Beijing Youth Daily.

Li was soon identified as a defaulter who had failed to follow the ban by buying the ticket from a scalper. He was later detained by the police, the report added.

"We'd like to strengthen joint efforts with public security departments and prosecuting authorities to launch a special campaign against people failing to enforce verdicts," Mao Lihua, deputy head of the top court's enforcement bureau, said last month while calling for the thorough review on defaulters.

He revealed that the top court will issue judicial guidelines at an appropriate time to ensure rulings can be enforced more quickly.

Data released by the top court on May 19 showed that a total of 3,198 defaulters had been criminally punished for the crime of failing to comply with verdicts last year.

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