By Spy Uganda
Bank of Uganda is once again in a Court battle with Kampala’s heavily loaded tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia who is squeezing the bank to cough Ugx500m court costs to his lawyers.
On 8th June 2023, the two parties appeared before Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Musoke for the pre-hearing conference in a case that the Bank of Uganda challenges the Shs500m awarded to Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), a law firm representing Sudhir.
Albert Byamugisha of Byamugisha and Company Advocates, who was the lead lawyer representing Bank of Uganda told the court that they wanted to appeal against Justice Mike Chibita’s ruling who awarded KAA Advocates Shs500m as costs insisting that the amount is too high.
Bruce Musinguzi, one of the lawyers representing KAA Advocates protested the Bank of Uganda’s noting that the court cannot fix an application or a case that is not yet filed. He asked the court to first fix their application which was already on record.
However, Justice Chibita allowed the Bank of Uganda to file their application and it will be heard at ago with KAA application of appeal.
In his ruling, Justice Chibita reduced the Shs45bn awarded to KAA by the Registrar explaining that there was not much work done by the victorious lawyers because the case on appeal was withdrawn before the hearing.
But Where Did It Begin From?
On June 30, 2017, Crane Bank Limited (in Receivership) took Mr. Sudhir Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Ltd. to court for causing financial loss amounting to UGX 397 billion to Crane Bank in fraudulent transactions and land title transfers.
Crane Bank (in receivership) in its Civil Suit No. 493 of 2017 sought High Court to compel Mr. Ruparelia to pay back the US$80,000,000, US$9,270,172.00, US $ 3,560,000.00, US$990,000.00 and UGX 52,083,995.00 as compensation for breach of fiduciary duty.
While Hon. Justice Wangutusi dismissed the UGX397 billion case against Mr. Ruperalia on a technicality, alleging that Crane Bank (in Receivership) lost its powers to “sue” and to “be sued”, thus rendering its suit a nullity, Crane Bank (in Receivership) maintaining that receivership is a management situation, and hence no legal change as to the capacity of a company to sue and be sued.