Uganda: BoU-Sudhir Hearing Pushed to January 21

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni (file photo).
23 November 2018

Kampala — The High Court has postponed the hearing of three cases in the multibillion dispute between Bank of Uganda (BoU) and city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia to next year.

The hearing of the three applications had been scheduled for Wednesday.

However, the matter was pushed to January 21 to allow the two parties further explore an out-of-court settlement.

The other ground of adjourning the case was that BoU officials were appearing before the Parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises to answer queries raised by the Auditor General in the closure of seven commercial banks.

The High Court had in October set November 21 to hear the three applications before they could hear out the main case if mediation talks failed.

In two applications, Bank of Uganda is seeking to amend its pleadings in the main case; be granted extension of time to file its defence to counter the alternative suit Mr Ruparelia filed against the central bank.

In the third application Mr Rupareliais seeking court to dismiss Bank of Uganda pleadings against him in the case where the central bank sued him for allegedly fleecing his Crane Bank, now closed and liquidated.

Background

Mid last year, the central bank sued Mr Ruparelia and his Meera Investments Company, for allegedly fleecing his self-owned Crane Bank of Shs397b in fraudulent transactions and transfers.

Mr Ruparelia has denied the accusations and counter-sued the Central Bank, seeking compensation of $8m (about Shs28b) in damages for alleged breach of contract.

The case was referred for mediation but the arbitration has stalled or slowed down.

Rules of mediation require that out-of-court talks should not exceed two months and should the parties fail to agree in that period, the case file be returned to court for a full hearing before a judge. The mediation talks in this matter have dragged on for long since November last year.

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