Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), the lawyers representing tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, have responded to Bank of Uganda’s claims that their client “stole from his bank”, Crane Bank.
The claims were made a week after the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against an earlier judgment that had dismissed a Shs 397 billion commercial dispute between Crane Bank (in receivership) and the businessman.
Bank of Uganda was a party to the case.
Early this week, the central bank, in a statement signed by the governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, the central bank insisted that receivership does not take away the corporate personality of a company which includes the right to trace and recover assets and the right to sue for those assets.
BoU then maintained that they will take the matter to the Supreme Court.
But KAA has laughed off the central bank’s claims saying the matter has been already handled by two competent courts (High Court and Court of Appeal) and that no court in any part of the world can proceed to hear a case where no cause of action is disclosed.
“In both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the Bank of Uganda addressed the Courts urging them to ignore the fact that it had no cause of action and proceed to hear the case anyway. Bank of Uganda was inviting the courts to ignore the law. Both Courts rejected this legally untenable plea that is now being made in the press,” KAA said in a statement issued yesterday.
They said the central bank’s decision would be an action in futility.
“The courts are not meant to award moot judgments. If a person has no cause of action, then the merits of the case cannot be inquired into lest the court may end up condemning a party who should not have been condemned,” read part of the statement.
KAA also dismissed as false claims that Bank of Uganda injected taxpayers money into Crane Bank. They said this allegation is designed to sway public opinion and has nothing to do with the case.
In any case, Sudhir’s lawyers said, COSASE reported that there was no evidence to support Bank of Uganda’s claims that taxpayers’ money was allegedly spent on paying depositors. Uganda and remains unaccounted for.
“The Head of the legal department at Bank of Uganda in sworn evidence before the High Court stated on oath that Bank of Uganda had not made any loss of money on account of Crane Bank and that it had no legal interest in any case against shareholders. This statement on oath means that Bank of Uganda did not inject into Crane Bank any taxpayers’ money,” the lawyers noted.
KAA said there is no forensic report of any kind that states that US $92 million was extracted from Crane Bank by Dr. Ruparelia as Bank of Uganda alleges in the press statement.
“Dr Sudhir Ruparelia reserves the right to challenge these malicious and ill founded allegations,” the lawyers concluded.