Court to decide fate of Sudhir- Crane Bank today - National | NTV

Court to decide fate of Sudhir- Crane Bank today

Monday August 26, 2019


The head of the Commercial Court, Justice David Wangutusi, is today expected to give a ruling in a commercial dispute between Crane Bank (in receivership) and tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia.

Justice Wangutusi set the date for the ruling after hearing an application filed by Mr Ruparelia who asked court to dismiss the Shs397b commercial case against him.

The lawyers of Crane Bank in receivership accuse Mr Ruparelia of taking Shs397b out of the financial institution in fraudulent transactions and land title transfers.

However, the businessman contends that when Crane Bank went into receivership, it lost its powers to “sue” and to “be sued”, rendering its suit against him and Meera Investments Company, a nullity.

In the event that the presiding judge agrees with the arguments fronted by Mr Ruparelia, the multibillion case will be dismissed.

But should the judge agree with Crane Bank in receivership, Justice Wangutusi will hear the case until judgment is passed at a later date.

During last month’s court hearing, Mr Joseph Matsiko, one of Mr Ruparelia’s lawyers, argued that on October 20, 2016, Bank of Uganda (BoU) took over the management of Crane Bank pursuant to Sections 87 (3) and 88 (1) a & (b) of the Financial Institutions Act and that on January 20, 2018, BoU placed it under receivership.

“The suit was filed on the 30th day of June 2017 when Crane Bank Ltd was in receivership. The issue, therefore, is whether a suit can be filed by a financial institution in receivership,” Mr Matsiko submitted.

He further argued that the Supreme Court has since ruled in a similar case that it would be wrong for any court to confer the right to sue when Parliament did not find it necessary to do so.

Mr Ruparelia, in an affidavit, also contended that under Uganda’s Constitution and the Land Act, Crane Bank in receivership could not own or hold freehold property and was, therefore, not capable of holding the suit property in its names.

But Dr Joseph Byamugisha, who represented Crane Bank in receivership, argued that when a financial institution is placed under receivership, it does not lose powers to commence or continue with lawsuits.