KAMPALA —Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia has won a case in the Court of Appeal in which Bank of Uganda (BoU) contested the ruling of the lower court.
The court upheld the judgment of Commercial Court in an application filed by BoU seeking a refund of UGX 397 billion from Sudhir which he allegedly pulled out from Crane Bank.
“The person (petitioner) should pay costs and [that is non other than Bank of Uganda because Margret Kasule filed on behalf of Bank of Uganda. They knew Crane Bank was in receivership as it wasn’t in existence but they went ahead to sue it]” the judges held in a an unanimous judgement.
Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo led the panel that included Justices Cheborion Barishaki and Steven Musota.
Justice David Wangutusi of Commercial Court in August 2019 this week dismissed a case in which BoU claimed that Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Ltd fleeced his own Crane Bank Ltd (now in receivership) of UGX397 billion.
In his 52-page ruling that was delivered by the court’s deputy registrar, Ms Mary Babirye, Justice Wangutusi noted that at the time BoU and Crane Bank (in receivership) filed the suit against Mr Ruparelia and his Meera Investments in January 2017, Crane Bank was a non-existing entity, having been terminated when the Central Bank sold its assets to DFCU Bank in October 2016.
The judge ruled that this rendered Crane Bank in receivership incapable of suing or being sued since there would be no assets to be claimed for.
Court noted that the public notice made it clear that BoU as the receiver had done an evaluation of the respondent (Crane Bank in receivership) and arranged for the purchase of its assets and assumption of its liabilities by another financial institution.
“In his [BoU] notice, he specifically stated that the liabilities of the respondent had been transferred to DFCU Bank Ltd and that because DFCU Bank had taken over the liabilities, it would, by way of consideration, be paid by conveying to it the respondent’s assets,” the judge ruled.
Bank of Uganda, through their new attorney Dr. Joseph Byamugisha of Byamugisha & Co Ltd the chose to file an appeal.