CC rejects SCC attempt to torpedo the “Peevski amendments”

The Constitutional Court (CC) has rejected the Supreme Court of Cassation’s attempt to nullify one of the amendments to the Bank Insolvency Act designed to facilitate bringing back assets to the CorpBank insolvency estate.

A year ago, the Commercial College of the court headed by Lozan Panov (the SCC) asked the CC to declare Paragraph 8 of the transitional and final provisions of the abovementioned regulatory act unconstitutional. The paragraph in question enters into force with an antedate and stipulates that any set-off recorded in the books after the date CorpBank was placed under special supervision by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), i.e. 20 June 2014, shall be considered null. The text is key to stopping the secondary plundering of the bank and compensating the depositors defrauded by the fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev. It was introduced to parliament by lawmaker and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski and his fellow Movement for Rights and Freedoms MPs Yordan Tsonev and Hamid Hamid and passed by the legislator in 2018. The amendment is intended to help replenish the insolvency estate of the failed lender but Lozan Panov’s people asked that it be declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it enters into force with an antedate. The 9 May ruling of the CC, however, closed the case launched at the request of the SCC Commercial College, as it turned out that the magistrates had invoked a provision of the law that was changed several weeks ago. It was amended in the middle of April and supplemented with the sentence that “the creditors are registered automatically on the list under Article 64, Paragraph 1” of the law. “The matter was referred to the court on the basis of a provision that no longer exists. Interpreting the case with the new provision in mind would be tantamount to the court taking proactive measures, which is unacceptable,” the CC position reads. The request has been returned to the General Assembly of the judges of the SCC’s Commercial College.

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