Court in Jinja has directed for the cancellation of a land tittle issued to businessman Jay Thummar Maganlal Patel in regard to prime land on Plot 24 Kyabazinga Way, Jinja City.
The land in question was in August 2008 subleased by Jinja Municipal Council to Tirupati Development Limited for a period of 18 years.
Jinja Municipal Council had earlier got a 25 year lease from Jinja Land Board.
However, Patel fraudulently acquired the piece of land measuring about 5.34 hectares.
In an August,16, 2021 ruling, Justice Jeanne Rwakakooko said belongs to Tirupati by virtue of the sub-lease it obtained from Jinja Municipal Council.
“I therefore find that the Commissioner for Land Registration by exercising special powers conferred upon him under section 91 of the Land Act made orders that the register book be amended and canceled the certificates of title and reinstated Jinja Municipal Council’s plot onto the register book this issue moot,” the Justice Rwakakooko said.
“By the virtue of the amendment dated October ,12,2018, he found that the cancelation of the lease and sub-lease and the re-entry was not proper and the said decision still stands.”
During the hearing of the case, Tirupati’s lawyers presented to court a forensic handwriting report in which they noted that the title to Patel didn’t have the chairperson of the District Land Board’s signature whereas the council meeting minutes had been forged.
The judge explained that it is not clear how Patel had acquired the same land on freehold, adding that there was fraud.
“I therefore find that fraud can be imputed on the part of the defendant(Patel) since he failed to explain to the satisfaction of court how he came to be offered this land and court is inclined to believe that the said minute offering the freehold to the defendant was inserted fraudulently,” Justice Rwakakooko ruled.
“Basing on the above findings in the issues resolved earlier, and as ordered by the Commissioner Land Registration, I find that the plaintiff(Tirupati) is the rightful owner of the land by virtue of the virtue of a sublease between the plaintiff and Jinja Municipal Council which is still subsisting.”
The judge directed that Patel pays shs10 million in general damages to Tirupati as well as cancelling the freehold land title that Patel had got on the said land.