Chairman of Ruparelia group of companies Sudhir Ruparelia and his son who is the Managing Director of Crane Management Services, Rajiv Ruparelia take questions from the press at Commercial Court.
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City businessman Sudhir Repaleria, has vowed to file a suit against central bank calling for accountability for assets and amount of money that Crane bank had before it was put under receivership.

Sudhir said on Monday after the head of Commercial Court, Justice David Wangutusi, dismissed a multi- million case filed against him. BoU/Crane bank under receivership accused the property mogul of fleecing Crane Bank Limited of Shs397 billion.

Below is the interview

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The Auditor General cannot account for Shs290 billion, somebody just stole in the name of Crane Bank, I don’t think there is something new, everybody knows the Cosase came up with exposure, really I want to thank all the lawyers who have participated, really did the tremendous job and they are straight forward lawyers unlike conflicted lawyers like Lule who have connived with these people and the rest is history. I am not going into details.

My lawyers have done a tremendous job, Bruce, I think this is historical; nobody else in the past has been able to take on the central bank. They have stolen several banks but they didn’t account to the stakeholders.

This is unfortunate scenario that you take somebody’s  assets, steal it, and profit from it and you don’t account for it and then sue me for US $100 million, the money they have stolen. This is ridiculous.

What is the next step of action after this achievement?

We are now going to put a counter case. You know Cosase found a lot of things, they didn’t account for the cash in the bank, they did value our property, and the money was just stolen.

That is my ground father, the old man of the clan (Andrew Mwenda) come; I think you know the details of this case than anybody else.

Mwenda: I as the old man of the Reparelia clan I feel extremely very happy, even the first year student of law would have seen this coming  because. What the central did with Crane Bank is unacceptable. Public must never accept public institutions to abuse power the way BoU did with Crane Bank.

They (Bank of Uganda) literally closed a healthy bank; they didn’t even sell its assets, but gave it free of charge to Dfcu bank. Not only that, they even lend Dfcu Money on interest free to buy Crane bank. I have never seen something like that.

Are you aware that BoU gave Dfcu Money to buy Crane bank and then paid interest on the money they gave Dfcu.

Sudhir: They (BoU) and lawyers connived and transferred bad book to Dfcu and they are the same lawyers who went to Dfcu and start collecting money from the bad book.

Andrew, are you surprised that BoU owns shares in Dfcu bank

The story of Crane Bank is so interesting.

Why court awarded Sudhir costs in Shs397b case against Bank of Uganda

On Monday Justice David Wangutusi as expected delivered his ruling in the case where Kampala businessman Sudhir Ruparelia had challenged the decision by the Bank of Uganda/Crane Bank In Receivership to sue him and Meera Investments Limited, seeking recovery of Shs397 billion allegedly fleeced from Crane Bank Limited by the latter two entities.

But in the counter suit Sudhir dismissed the case and argued that Crane Bank in Receivership had no powers to sue since it is not provided for in the law.

Justice Wangutusi agreed with Sudhir and his lawyers, awarding costs of the suit to Sudhir and Meera Investments. But that means it is the Ugandan taxpayer that is to bear the costs since BoU that first dragged Sudhir to court is a public entity that depends on government’s money purse.

In his ruling, Justice Wangutusi said that; As for costs, it is well established that unless sufficient reason is given to prevent the award of costs, the costs of any action/cause or other matter or issue shall follow the event unless Court shall for good reason order otherwise; He quoted Section 27 of the Civil Procedure Act Cap 71; Dauda vs Ahmed & Ors (1987) KLR 665.

“The issue of costs in this case raises a little difficultly. Having found herein above that the liability and assets of Crane Bank had passed over to Dfcu bank the question that arises is who is going to pay the costs.

Under such circumstances the party to bear the costs must be the one who brought the matter to court. At the time of filing the suit Bank of Uganda had taken over management. Counsel for the Plaintiff/ Respondent submitted that the proceedings were not commenced by the Bank of Uganda but by Crane Bank Limited in Liquidation,” he observed.

A perusal of the affidavit in reply to the Application throws light on who brought the suit to Court, he said, adding that the affidavit is deponed by Margaret K. Kasule who describes herself and occupation in paragraph 1 thus;

“I am an adult female Uganda of sound mind and the Legal Counsel of Bank of Uganda which is the statutory receiver of Crane Bank Ltd in Receivership and I swear this affidavit in that capacity.”

From the foregoing, the judge said, there was no doubt that the suit was filed by Bank of Uganda. Since section 96 of the Financial Institutions Act insulated Crane bank under Receivership from court proceedings, execution or other legal processes the person that should pay costs should be the person who instituted the suit and that is Bank of Uganda. This is so because Crane Bank in Receivership had no capacity to foot the costs and much so the Bank of Uganda that instituted the suit was aware of this incapacity.

He quoted a case of Kyaninga Royal Cottages Ltd vs Kyaninga Lodge Limited HCMA No. 551 of 2018 where court while considering a situation of a nonexistent company had this to say;

“In my view it is the Managing Director of the nonexistent company who instructed the advocates to file the suit. He must have been the one who paid the court fees. He was in my view the person who was behind the Plaint. It is he therefore who should pay the costs.”

In the instant case, he said, the deponent of the affidavit in reply has put it on oath that Bank of Uganda instructed the advocates. It must have been the one that paid the court fees and it was certainly the one behind the plaint. The Bank of Uganda should therefore be the one to pay the costs.

In conclusion, he said, the Plaintiff/ Respondent did not have jurisdiction to file HCCS No. 493 of 2017. It is also my finding that the property the Plaintiff/ Respondent was seeking when she filed the suit on 30th June 2017 had earlier been given away by the Receiver to Dfcu bank on the 24th of January 2017 four days into Receivership and five months before the filing of this suit thus leaving the Plaintiff/ Respondent with no property.

Furthermore, it’s my finding that the orders sought against the 2nd Applicant are barred in law rendering the Plaintiff/ Respondent with no cause of action against the 2nd Applicant.

For those reasons this application succeeds and the suit is dismissed. The Respondent shall bear the costs of the application and the suit, he said.