Prominent businessman, Sudhir Ruparelia has written to the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga protesting Parliament’s move to investigate one of his properties in the city whose ownership was settled by the High Court seven years ago.
The letter follows an inquiry by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) of 460 Departed Asians Properties.
One of the properties listed under investigation is Plot 24 on Kampala Road, which belongs to Meera Investments Limited
However Sudhir in a letter dated 14th August 2019 wondered how COSASE is inquiring into ownership of the property whose ownership was decided by court.
“Rt. Hon Speaker, in 2012, the Custodian Board claimed that former owner did not return to Uganda to manage the property and therefore the property belongs to Custodian Board and was by the state of their pen under their management. Having bought the property and owned it since 1995 we went to High court for Judicial Review under LD CR 16 of 2012 to challenge the Custodian Board’s claim,” Sudhir wrote in a terse letter.
“High Court listened to us and also listened to Custodian Board (represented by Attorney General ) and made a decision on 2011 December , 2012 in our favour. Custodian Board did not appeal. COSASE is now inquiring into a matter and ownership decided upon by the High Court in 2012,” he said.
“We are seeking clarification and guidance from you whether Parliament can inquire into a matter where decision of Court has been made or where a matter is in Court . Then whenever matters in court come to an end , parties can come to Parliament for another decision We shall be grateful for our guidance.”
On December 20, 2012, Justice Joseph Murangira at the High Court at Kampala Land Division declared Sudhir under his Meera Investment Limited as the rightful owner of the land.
In his ruling, Justice Murangira said Sudhir/Meera Investment was in possession of the property since 1994 when he purchased it until it was subjected to the repossession process of properties that were expropriated when Asians were expelled from Uganda in 1972.
“Meera Investment approached the former owners (Rameshchandra Bhowan Kataria and the late Kershavlal Premchard Shah) before they were granted a certificate of repossession and they agreed to sell their estate and interest that is the property. Indeed they sold and transferred to Meera,” the Judge said.