Don’t Over Step Your Mandate, COSASE Isn’t Court-High Court Rules On Departed Asians’ Properties

Don’t Over Step Your Mandate, COSASE Isn’t Court-High Court Rules On Departed Asians’ Properties

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By Spy Uganda

In a ruling delivered by Justice Boniface Wamala dated June 4, 2022, the High Court has trashed Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE)’s investigations on properties under the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB).

Click To Read Full Ruling Here

This application was lodged by Mohammed Allibhai, seeking court to review the acts of the COSASE subcommittee in investigating properties already handled by the court and other processes, confirming rightful ownership.

For our first-time readers, the Applicant was one of the private individuals subjected to investigations by the Respondent’s COSASE, in its investigations into the operations of the Departed Asian’s Property Custodian Board.

Following the investigations into the operations of the Custodian Board, the COSASE Sub-Committee made a report in April 2021, which report was adopted by Parliament on the 5th of May 2021.

Now, according to Justice Wamala, COSASE went beyond its mandate and tried to act as a court thus illegally when it investigated properties that were subject to concluded court decisions and made recommendations that purport to overturn court decisions.

“The COSASE Sub-Committee exceeded its mandate and acted without jurisdiction, and thus illegally when it purported to investigate properties already dealt with under the Expropriated Properties Act and in respect of which certificates of repossession had long been issued,” Justice Wamala’s ruling partially adding;

”The entire COSASE Sub-Committee investigation which led to the impugned report was conducted in violation of the principles of natural justice, with procedural impropriety, irrationality, illegality, bias, and ultra vires.”

Justice Wamala observed that COSASE Sub-Committee acted with bias and in abuse of the principles of natural justice, thus with procedural impropriety and unfairness, when it issued a warrant of arrest against the Applicant.

I am persuaded to agree with the Applicant’s view that this was unfair treatment by the Sub-Committee against the Applicant and the same substantively offends the rules of natural justice, particularly the right to be given prior notice of the allegations against him and a fair opportunity to be heard before one is condemned. The said manner of proceeding by the Sub-Committee and the result of the inquiry were definitely prejudicial to the Applicant and was in breach of the requirement for procedural propriety before reaching decisions by a public body,” Wamala rules.

Click To Read Full Ruling Here

After observing as mentioned above, Justice Wamala noted, ”The Applicant has been subjected to a lot of humiliation, mental torture, and anguish and his reputation has been greatly damaged and impaired for which he seeks general damages of UGX 500,000,000/=, exemplary damages of UGX 500,000,000/= and punitive damages of UGX 500,000,000/=. It is in the interest of justice that the application is granted.”

Ruling In Summary

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