Bank of Uganda has withdrawn its appeal filed in the Supreme Court against businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Ltd in the dispute over the sale of the now defunct Crane Bank.
“Take notice that the appellant does not intend further to prosecute the appeal. Take further notice that the appellant, will pay the costs of the appeal and in the courts below to the respondent,” a notice lodged in the Supreme Court says.
In the intended appeal, BoU sought to challenge an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal that went in Sudhir’s favour.
In June last year, the Court of Appeal in Kampala 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.
Bank of Uganda (BoU) /Crane Bank in receivership 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, 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.
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 court, therefore, ruled that Crane Bank was a non-existent entity since it went into receivership three years ago.
After losing the case, BoU ran to the Court of Appeal to challenge the lower court’s decision but again lost the case.
“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 of the Court of Appeal ruled.
“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.”
It is this ruling that BoU had sought to challenge in the Supreme Court before withdrawing the appeal.