The Court of Appeal in Kampala has dismissed an appeal filed by Bank of Uganda against an earlier judgment that had dismissed a shs397 billion commercial dispute between Crane Bank in receivership and businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.
In 2019, Justice David Wangutsi of the Commercial Court dismissed the case Bank of Uganda had lodged against Sudhir Ruparelia seeking to recover Shs 379 billion from him.
Bank of Uganda (BoU) /Crane Bank in receivership had sued Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments Limited of allegedly fleecing the defunct Crane Bank Limited (CBL) of Shs397 billion that the central bank wants to be refunded.
However, after losing the case, Bank of Uganda appealed against the judgement in the Court of Appeal.
On Tuesday in a judgment read by the court registrar, Mary Babirye, three justices of the Court of Appeal including the Deputy Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny Dollo, Cheborion Barishaki, and Steven Musota said they had not found any merit in the BoU appeal.
“We agree with the above (High Court) decision. People should not hide behind non-existent persons, file frivolous suits, and seek that courts should make orders as to costs against non-existent persons,” the judges ruled.
While dismissing the case in 2019, the Commercial Court held that once Crane Bank was placed under receivership, it was insulated against legal proceedings according to Section 96 of the Financial Institutions Act (FIA) and, therefore, had no powers to sue Ruparelia.
The lower court, therefore, ruled that Crane Bank was a non-existent entity since it went into receivership three years ago.
The justices of the Court of Appeal today Tuesday 23/June/2020 ruled that there was no error on the side of the Commercial Court when it dismissed the case.
“In the instant case, we find no such misconduct relating to litigation on the part of the respondents and as such, we find no reason to deny the respondents’ costs of the suit. We, therefore, uphold the trial judge’s order as to costs. The appeal consequently fails. It is thus dismissed with costs here and the court below,” the judges ruled.