By Kagenyi Lukka
Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia has asked the commercial court to dismiss a case filed against him by the Bank of Uganda; arguing the Central Bank over stepped its mandate in commencing court proceedings against him and his Meera Investments Company.
Bank of Uganda sued Ruparelia for allegedly fleecing his own bank-former Crane Bank of 397 billion shillings through carrying out fraudulent transactions.
However, Ruparelia through his lawyers of Kampala Associated Advocates today presented an objection against Bank of Uganda (BOU) case before Commercial Court judge David Wangutusi.
According to the Lawyers’ submissions, when dissolving a bank, BoU had three options including putting someone else in its management – what is termed as statutory management, receivership or liquidation.
Ruparelia’s lawyer Elison Karuhanga has argued that however BoU chose to go for receivership yet Under the law, specifically only the manager and the liquidator of the said bank is mandated to file a suit and not a Receiver.
He further explained that, BOU as a Receiver could only dissolve or sell Crane Bank within 12 months but not sue it’s managers.
The lawyers have made the objection today when the case filed in January 2017 came up for hearing today before the commercial court.
However, in his response to the submissions of Sudhir’s lawyers, BoU through its lawyer Dr Joseph Byamugisha told court that when a financial institution is placed under receivership the power to commerce or to continue with a civil suit does not stop.
BoU on January 25, 2017 placed Crane Bank under receivership.
Later that same year, the central bank alongside Crane Bank sued Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Company for allegedly fleecing his own bank of Shs397b in fraudulent transactions.
Ruparelia denied the allegations and counter-sued BoU, seeking compensation of $8m (Shs28b) in damages for breach of contract.
Justice Wangutusi has set August 26, for a ruling on the objection.