Supreme Court has ordered that Bank of Uganda pays costs to business tycoon Sudhir Ruparellia after losing a 5year legal battle over Crane Bank ownership.
The Bank of Uganda had dragged Sudhir and his Crane Bank to Court accusing him of siphoning over 397 billion shillings from his former Crane Bank.
Today the five justices of the Court led by Opio Aweri unanimously dismissed the Bank of Uganda appeal and ruled that Banks of Uganda pays all costs in the lower Court.
The justices further ruled that since Crane Bank receivership ended in 2018, Crane Bank Ltd as a company be reverted to Sudhir and his co- shareholders.
The ruling which has marked the climax of a 5-year dispute between Bank of Uganda, Sudhir Ruparelia, his company Meera investment Ltd and his former Crane Bank Ltd arose in 2017 when Bank of Uganda accused Sudhir and Meera Investments of siphoning over 397 billion shillings from his former Crane Bank.
In 2019 Commercial Court judge David Wangututsi dismissed the case with costs, on grounds that he found no misconduct on the side of Sudhir to warrant prosecution, a position that was also maintained by the Court of Appeal in 2020.
The Central Bank was dissatisfied by the decision and lodged an appeal in the Supreme court to have it overturned. Along the way the Bank lost interest in prosecuting the appeal prompting to file a notice of withdrawal but argued that costs should be paid by Crane Bank.
However, this did not settle well with Sudhir who insisted Bank of Uganda should pay their costs, because Crane Bank was no longer in existence having had its assets sold to DFCU bank in 2016.
Sudhir and his lawyer Joseph Matsiko have welcomed today’s ruling.