2020-12-17 09:25:04

A court in central China’s Henan province has apologized for prohibiting a 9-year-old girl from accessing certain high-end services after she inherited debts from her father, who was executed for committing a double murder.

The Jinshui District People’s Court in the city of Zhengzhou said the “consumption restriction” order “does not conform to the spirit of relevant legislation and is wrong,” according to a statement Wednesday. The court added that it had preemptively lifted its punishment against the minor earlier this week.

In China, people who receive so-called consumption restriction orders are usually banned from “high-level consumption,” which limits their choices when booking flights, railway tickets, and hotels. Those slapped with such orders can also be temporarily banned from purchasing properties and vehicles, or sending their children to expensive schools.

The Jinshui court said the order was mistakenly issued due to certain staff members “making judgements like machines … causing a bad social impact.” The local judiciary also vowed to “make the protection and healthy growth of minors a top priority.”

According to domestic media reports, the girl’s father killed his wife and mother-in-law in 2012 after they refused to sell their house to pay off his gambling debts. He was sentenced to death for the murders a year later, and the Zhengzhou Intermediate People’s Court seized the house in 2016.

Two years later, the eventual buyer of the home filed a lawsuit, demanding that the court nullify the purchase contract and return his 550,000 yuan (then $85,400). He won the suit but was unable to claim the money because the defendant’s only immediate heir was a child.

When the 9-year-old failed to pay up, the Jinshui District People’s Court in November issued its order to restrict her spending.

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Header image: People Visual)