The Commercial Court hearing of a case in which Crane Management Services (CMS), sued Sebalu & Lule Advocates over conflict of interest, has today stalled following the presiding judge, Justice David Wangutusi Wasieba “being unwell.”
According to the court registry, the trial judge is sick and unable to preside over the hearing of this case. The ‘conflict of interest’ case has been pushed to March 1, 2019.
Last December, Dr Ruparelia, the proprietor of Crane Management Services, filed a lawsuit in the Commercial Court saying that Sebalu and Lule Advocates were unfit to represent Bank of Uganda (BoU) and dfcu bank because they once represented Crane Management Services which owned Crane Bank in several court cases.
In his suit the businessman said; “In view of the advocate-client relationship between the applicant (Crane Management Services sued dfcu bank) and the 1st respondent (Sebalu & Lule advocates), the latter’s continued participation as defence counsel for the 2nd respondent (dfcu bank) herein, which is the defendant in High Court Civil Suit (HCCS) No. 109/2018 against the applicant/plaintiff, is prejudicial to the applicant’s head suit.”
Dr Ruparelia told Watchdog Uganda in an interview that ‘this is wasting and time and money.’ “I and my team came ready to battle out this case. We can’t allow this to continue. They have done so many things to delay us but we have to agree with the law. First, all these lawyers know that what they are doing is unethical but we shall fight and see we get justice.”
Sudhir demands that the judge issues out a permanent injunction on Sebalu and Lule Law Firm banning them from appearing before the court as the shielding units for dfcu bank, and the other court cases that Crane Management Services and dfcu are engaged in.
In the case (HCCS No.109 of 2018), CMS is demanding for USD385,728 and UGX2,998,558,624 as rental arrears. This is before interest, general damages, interest on general damages and costs of the suit.
Dfcu is being sued on account of being the successor in title to Crane Bank (in receivership) and as such “having by its conduct assumed the rights and obligations under the tenancies in respect of the suit properties.”
Dfcu is also facing other law suits by Meera Investments Ltd, the property development arm of the Ruparelia Group, for “fraudulently” and “illegally” transferring 42 properties belonging to Meera into dfcu’s name. The property company wants dfcu evicted out of the 42 properties, currently hosting various dfcu branches.