CCR rejects as ungrounded the notification on the obligation to appear to the inquiry committees

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The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR)  rejected on Wednesday, as ungrounded, the notification on the unconstitutionality of the provisions of the Deputies’ and Senators’ Statute by which the summoned persons are obliged to appear in front of the parliamentary inquiry committees.

The nine constitutional judges took the decision by majority vote.

On May 15, PNL submitted to the Constitutional Court (CCR) a notification against the amendment of the Senators’ and Deputies’ Statute according to which any person is obliged to appear to the hearings in the parliamentary inquiry committee. The notification initiated by Liberals has been supported by USR also, so that the document was submitted to CCR with the signatures of 81 parliamentarians.

On May 9, the parliamentarians adopted, with 198 “pros” and 119 “cons”, the draft of the Decision amending and completing Art.9 of the Regulation on the joint activities of the Deputies’ Chamber and Senate.

Thus, in order to be heard, the parliamentary inquiry committee can summon any person working within the Government or other public administration bodies and possibly knowing any deed or circumstance able to help finding the truth. The summoned persons are obliged to appear to the parliamentary inquiry committee.

In case of unjustified refusal to answer to the committee’s request, it can propose the notification of the head of the authority or institution where the summoned person carries out his or her activity, or the notification of the prosecution authorities.

The parliamentary inquiry committees can invite any other person who may know anything about a deed or a circumstance able to help finding the truth in the case that is subject of the work of the committee and who accepts to be heard. The invited person can also provide a written answer to the parliamentary inquiry committee, giving the requested information, or the person can sent by mail the documents or the other evidence which he or she has and which are useful to the inquiry committee.

The refusal of the persons invited by the inquiry committee to provide the requested information or to make available for the committee the other documents or evidence he or she has, which are useful to the work of the committee, may be deemed as obstruction in finding the truth and may be a reason to notify the prosecution authorities.