UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The Bank of Uganda (BoU) has withdrawn its Supreme Court appeal against real muloodi Sudhir Ruparelia and his Meera Investments company, in the dispute over the sale of the now defunct Crane Bank.
BoU was challenging the dismissal of a USh 397 billion commercial dispute by lower courts against the property mogul and his Meera Company. However in an unprecedented move, BoU withdrew the appeal, and committed itself to pay the legal costs to Mr Ruparelia and Meera Investments, both at Court of Appeal and High Court levels where legal battles were lost.
The withdrawal notice dated September 15, reads in part, “Take notice the Appellant does not intend further to prosecute the appeal.”
“The appellant (BoU) will pay the costs of the appeal and in the courts below to the respondents (Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments ltd),” BOU further said.
The withdrawal notice signed by the central bank lawyers Messers Byamugisha & Co Advocates confirms the latest victory for Mr Ruparelia. He has been battling with BOU in court ever since they closed his Crane bank.
On June 23, 2020, the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the Commercial Court in an application filed by the Central Bank seeking a refund of UGX 397 billion from Sudhir.
Bank of Uganda alleges that in January 2016, Sudhir pulled out UGX 397 billion from the Crane Bank before it was closed by the Bank of Uganda.
How it all Began
The case started in 2016 when BoU took over Sudhir’s Crane Bank, citing under-capitalisation. In January 2017, DFCU Bank took over Crane Bank.
Bank of Uganda later filed a case on behalf of Crane Bank (in Receivership) against Sudhir Ruparelia, Crane Bank Vice-chairperson and Meera Investments, for allegedly fleecing Crane Bank of USh 397 billion.
However, BoU lost the case because a bank in Receivership cannot sue or be sued, according to the Financial Institutions Act (2004).
BoU filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal, which it lost again.
In Justice David Wangutusi’s first ruling in August 2019, he dismissed the case in which BoU claimed that Ruparelia and Meera Investments Ltd fleeced Crane Bank Ltd (now in Receivership) of USh 397 billion.
In the High Court, Justice Wangutusi noted that when Bank of Uganda sued Sudhir in January 2017, Crane Bank was a non-existing entity, having closed in October 2016 when the Central Bank sold its assets to DFCU Bank.
Court also noted that. “The public notice clarified that Bank of Uganda as a receiver had done an evaluation of Crane Bank (in receivership) and arranged for the purchase of its assets and assumption of its liabilities by another financial institution.”
Since no assets would be claimed, Justice David ruled that Crane Bank in Receivership was incapable of suing or being sued.
Justice Wangutusi further ruled 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 consideration, be paid by conveying to it the respondent’s assets.”
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