Probably the longest litigation battle in Uganda’s financial sector has come to an end after five years with Bank of Uganda, the regulator of the financial sector, coming out of it bruised, hurt and shamed for not knowing how to do its job.
As the public expected, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed, with costs to the respondents, an appeal by Bank of Uganda against businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments, the real estate arm of the Ruparelia Group.
The highest ranking court in the country ordered Bank of Uganda directly pay costs at all court levels, right from the Commercial Division of the High Court. The court also directed that the management of Crane Bank be reverted to its shareholders.
The Supreme Court ruling effectively settles a long-standing legal battle between Sudhir Ruparelia and the central bank, dating back to 2017 when the regulator erroneously took over the management of Sudhir’s Crane Bank and eventually sold it to DFCU Bank.
According to the ruling, Sudhir Ruparelia will not pay the Shs397b that Bank of Uganda had wanted him to pay. This ruling excited Sudhir Ruparelia who over the period of the litigation maintained the Bank of Uganda has stolen his bank.
Crane Bank Limited (in receivership) had sued Sudhir and Meera Investments Limited in the High Court Commercial Division. The bank had sought recovery of money, allegedly misappropriated by Sudhir Ruparelia as a director and shareholder.
The latest ruling was on an application to withdraw an appeal and the party that was supposed to meet the costs of the withdraw of the appeal.