In December 2008, Ms Nikolova, who is not Roma, lodged an application with the Komisia za zashtita ot diskriminatsia (Commission for Protection against Discrimination; the KZD) arguing that the reason for installing elctricty meters at height in the Gizdova mahala district was that most of the inhabitants of the district were of Roma origin and accordingly, she was suffering direct discrimination on the basis of nationality.
On 6 April 2010, the KZD found that the installation of electricity meters at height amounted to prohibited indirect indiscrimination on the grounds of nationality. This decision was annulled on 19 May 2011 by the Varhoven administrativen sad (Supreme Administrative Court) on the basis that, inter alia, “the KZD had not indicated the other nationality in relation to the holders of which Ms Niklova had suffered discrimination”. The case was referred back to the KZD, which later found that CHEZ RB had directly discriminated against Ms Nikolova on the grounds of her “personal situation” as the placement of the metres put her in a disadvantageous position compared with other CHEZ RB customers whose metres were in accessible locations.
CHEZ RB brought an appeal against the decision before the Administrativen sad Sofia-grad (Administrative Court, Sofia). In order to assist in making its decision, the Administrative Court sought a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in February 2014.
This is the summary of the case written by the Equal Rights Trust.