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Tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia Warns Dfcu Bank after Wining BoU-Crane Bank Case

City tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia has won a law suit in the Commercial Court in which Bank of Uganda (BoU) had accused him of illegally transferring money from Crane Bank Limited.

On June 30, 2017, BoU and Crane Bank filed a suit claiming Ruparelia and Meera Investments company had fraudulently transferred Shs 397bn from Crane Bank to other accounts.

The Central Bank had also accused Ruparelia of illegally transferring land titles belonging to Crane Bank Limited.

By the time of filing the suit, Crane Bank was already under BoU receivership.

Just over two years since the suit was filed, Justice David Wangutusi of the Commercial Court has made his ruling.

“The plaintiff/ respondent Crane Bank, then under receivership did not have jurisdiction to file HCCS no. 493 of 2017,” said Wangutusi in his ruling.

“It is 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.”

Under sections 87 (3) and 88 (1) a & (b) of the Financial Institutions Act, BoU took over the management of the affairs of Crane Bank on October 20, 2016.

Some 15 months later, on January 20, 2018, the Central Bank placed Crane Bank under receivership.

Ruparelia was represented by Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA).

In his affidavit, the tycoon argued that under receivership, Crane Bank was in no position to own property and land titles as per the provisions of both the Ugandan Constitution and the Land Act.

He also accused BoU of breach of the Confidential Settlement and Release Agreement.

BoU and Ruparelia signed an agreement at Crane Bank’s liquidation stage, to the effect that “without prejudice to the immediate forging should any legal or administrative proceeding of any kind ensue against Sudhir Ruparelia as defined in the agreement”.

If that happened, continued the terms, “the agreement stands voided and BOU shall immediately return to Sudhir Ruparelia the value of the settlement.”

Court has now asked BoU to meet the legal costs Ruparelia incurred.

Additional Reporting: Courtesy 

Photo: Muhereza Kyamutetera

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