KAMPALA: The Supreme Court has confirmed that the Bank of Uganda will pay costs following a court battle the Central Bank lost in the aftermath of the closure and liquidation of Crane Bank Ltd, owned by City tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia.
In a disposal notice on Friday, July, the court confirmed the earlier February 11, 2022 ruling that dismissed, with costs, an appeal by the Bank of Uganda against businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and his real estate arm—Meera Investments Limited.
“The appeal is hereby dismissed with costs. The costs shall be borne by Bank of Uganda,” a notice by the Registrar of the Supreme Court reads.
In their February 11 ruling, the Supreme Court ordered the central bank to pay costs at all court levels, right from the Commercial Court and directed that Crane Bank is reverted to its owners.
The February 11th, 2022 ruling brought to an end the long-standing commercial dispute between the businessman Sudhir and the Ugandan bank regulator, dating back to 2017.
The ruling confirmed Mr. Sudhir as no longer liable for the UGX397b that Bank of Uganda was claiming from his shareholding, a figure also separately dismissed by the Auditor General and a Parliamentary inquiry.
“Bank of Uganda stole my bank,” Sudhir, said after the decision was announced in February.
“They have to pay costs of suit right from the Commercial Bank to the Supreme Court,” he said
The court was presided over by Justices Rubby Opio-Aweri, Faith Mwondha, Lillian Tibatemwa, Ezekiel Muhaguzi and Percy Night Tuhaise.
In a ruling accompanying Friday’s notice,
Supreme Court Judge Lillian Tibatemwa also stressed that once a company is placed under receivership, it doesn’t lose its legal existence.
She noted that Crane Bank was a closed financial institution on being placed under receivership, which ended on 20th January 2018.
“The end of receivership means that the Assets and Liabilities of the Crane Bank reverted to its shareholders”.
The situation means that the Bank of Uganda is no longer a manager nor a receiver of Crane Bank.