By Max Patrick Ocaido
The Head of Commercial Court, Justice David Wangutusi has Monday morning dismissed a case against city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia in which Bank of Uganda expected to recover Shs397billion from the defunct Crane Bank Limited.
The Central Bank sued Sudhir Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Limited for allegedly fleecing the defunct Crane Bank of Shs397 billion before the Bank was put into receivership and later sold to Dfcu.
Through his lawyers-Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), Sudhir refutes the alleged fraud and insists that when Crane Bank went into receivership, it lost its powers to “sue” and to “be sued.”
In his ruling, Justice Wangutusi said that the Central Bank did not have the locus to sue defunct Crane Bank which was already under receivership and ordered BoU to pay all the damages.
"It’s also my finding that the property the plaintiff was seeking when she filed the suit on June 30th 2017 had earlier been given away by the receiver to Dfcu bank on 24th January 2017, four days into receivership and five months before filing of this suit this leaving the plaintiff/ respondent with no property," reads the court ruling.
On June 30, 2017, BoU filed a suit against Sudhir and his Meera Investments Limited, which the businessman says was in breach of the Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement that was reached by both parties after BoU closed and liquidated Crane Bank for allegedly being undercapitalized.
Clause 12 of Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement stipulates that, “Without prejudice to the immediate forging should any legal or administrative proceeding of any kind ensue against SR [Sudhir Ruparelia] as defined in the agreement, the agreement stands voided and BoU shall immediately return to SR the value of the settlement.”