KAMPALA: The Commercial Court in Kampala on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of a case between business mogul Sudhir Ruparelia and law firm, Sebalu and Lule Advocates.
The ‘conflict of interest’ case has been pushed to March 1, 2019.
Last December, Dr Ruparelia filed a lawsuit in the Commercial Court pointing out 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.”
Hearing of the case before Justice David Wangutusi was set for Wednesday, February 20.
However, when Dr Ruparelia and his son Rajiv appeared at the court, Justice Wangutusi was absent.
According to the court registry, the trial judge is sick and unable to preside over the hearing of this case.
In aside line interview with Watchdog Uganda, Dr Ruparelia said, “All this is time wasting 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.
If Dr Rupareria’s petition goes through, Sebalu and Lule will be the second law firm to be humiliated by the businessman.
In December 2017, MMAKS and AF Mpanga and Company Advocates were stopped from representing the central bank after Justice Wangutusi cited an element of conflict of interest from them in Shs397b Sudhir’s case against the Bank of Uganda.