• Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

UGANDA, Jinja | Real Muloodi News | The Jinja High Court has ordered the immediate cancellation of a freehold land title for a prime plot of land in Jinja City, after hearing evidence that businessman Jay Thummar Maganlal Patel, obtained it through forgery and fraud.

On August 16, 2021, Justice Jeanne Rwakakooko ruled that Plot 24 Kyabazinga Way in Jinja City, measuring 5.34 hectares, belongs to Tirupati Development (Uganda) Limited. Tirupati Development obtained the land under a sub-lease from Jinja Municipal Council.

Justice Jeanne Rwakakooko said, “I therefore find that the Commissioner for Land Registration by exercising special powers conferred upon him under section 91 of the Land Act made orders that the register book be amended, cancel the certificates of title and reinstate Jinja Municipal Council’s plot onto the register book, this issue is moot.”

“By virtue of the amendment dated October 12, 2018, we found that the cancelation of the lease and sub-lease and the re-entry was not proper and the said decision still stands,” the judge explained. 

In August 2008, the land measuring 5.4 hectares Plot 24 Kyabazinga Way, was subleased to Tirupati Development Limited for 18 years by Jinja Municipal Council. Jinja Municipal Council had acquired this same plot of land on a 25-year lease from Jinja Land Board years before.

At the hearing, Tirupati’s lawyers submitted a police forensic handwriting report, which showed that the title awarded to Mr Patel was missing the signature of Innocent Ndiko, the chairperson of the District Land Board. The lawyers further asserted that the council meeting minutes were also forged.

According to Justice Rwakakooko, not only were the minutes for the title were forged, but there was no evidence that Mr Patel made any statutory payments to grant him a title. Thus, Mr Patel got the 5.34 hectares of land fraudulently.

Justice Rwakakooko ruled “I therefore find that fraud can be imputed by the defendant (Patel) since he failed to explain to the satisfaction of the court how he came to be offered this land and [the] court is inclined to believe that the said minute offering the freehold to the defendant was inserted fraudulently. “Basing on the above findings in the issues resolved earlier, and as ordered by the Commissioner of Land Registration, the plaintiff [Tirupati] is the rightful owner of the land because of the virtue of a sublease between the plaintiff and Jinja Municipal Council which is still subsisting.”

Thus, the judge ordered that Mr Patel recompense 10 million Uganda Shillings, to Tirupati for general damages and cancelation of his title.


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