Crane Bank case against Sudhir Ruparelia
Court orders BoU to pay legal costs following Crane Bank case against Sudhir. File photo

Bank of Uganda case against city businessman, Sudhir Ruparelia seeking to recover 397 billion Uganda shillings from him has been dismissed earlier today by the Commercial Court in Kampala.

In this case, Bank of Uganda (BoU)/Crane Bank in Receivership dragged Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments limited for allegedly fleecing the defunct Crane Bank Limited (CBL) through fraudulent transactions and land title transfers.

So, in this case, BoU wanted Sudhir to refund 397 billion shillings.

At Commercial Court Monday morning the 26 of August, Justice David Wangutusi, in his verdict maintained that BoU/Crane Bank (in receivership) had no legal grounds to sue Sudhir in Courts of law thus ending the two-year legal fight between the two parties.

Wangutusi says Crane Bank in Receivership at the time of instituting the commercial suit against Sudhir and Meera Investment Company owned by Sudhir was non-existent.

“In conclusion, the plaintiff/respondent (Crane Bank in receivership) did not have jurisdiction to file HCCS no.493 of 2017. It’s also my finding that the property the plaintiff was seeking when she filed the suit on June 30th 2017 had earlier been given away by the receiver to DFCU Bank on 24th January 2017, four days into receivership and five months before filing of this suit this leaving the plaintiff/respondent with no property,” court verdict reads in part.

After the ruling, Court then commanded BoU to pay Sudhir all legal costs incurred in the pursuit of this case, arguing that BoU lodged the suit on behalf of the defunct Crane Bank.

This is the third time Sudhir is winning a case against BoU ever since his Bank, Crane Bank was closed and sold by BoU.

In last month’s Court hearing, Sudhir through his lawyer, Joseph Matsiko, argued that on October 20, 2016, Bank of Uganda (BoU) took over Crane Bank management according to Section 87(3) and 88(1) (a) and (b) of the Financial Institutions Act.

While on January 20, 2018, BoU placed Crane Bank under receivership.

“The suit was filed on the 30th day of June 2017 when Crane Bank ltd was in receivership. This issue, therefore, is whether a suit can be filed by a financial institution in receivership,” Mastiko said.

In the same way, Sudhir also argued that according to Uganda land act and Uganda’s Constitution, Crane Bank in receivership could not own or hold freehold property.

So, this implies he could not hold the suit property in its name.