City Tycoon and Banking Mogul Dr Sudhir Ruparelia, together with six (6) other stakeholders of the now-defunct Crane Bank are set to pocket billions after a major victory against DFCU Bank in an England court.
The other appellants are; Jyotsna Ruparelia (Sudhir’s wife), Meera Ruparelia, Rajiv Ruparelia, Tom Mugenga and Sheena Ruparelia. The sixth appellant is Crane Bank itself.
In a ruling delivered on Wednesday 26th July 2023, the Court of Appeal from the High Court of Justice Business and Property Courts in England reasoned that there are serious issues that can be tried in the UK as per the transaction where the Bank of Uganda, through corruption, illegally sold Crane Bank Limited (CBL) assets to DFCU in January 2017.
Lord Justice Phillips said: “I would allow the appeal on the ground that there are serious issues to be tried as to whether part or all appellants’ claims fall within the Commercial Activity Exception and/or the Public Policy Exception.”
The appellants aver that the sale of CBL was commercial rather than sovereign in character, therefore falling outside the foreign act of state rule.
The appellants assert that from 2016 senior Ugandan government officials and officials of the Bank of Uganda engaged in a corrupt scheme to take control of CBL, making improper use of statutory and regulatory powers to do so, and then to sell assets for the benefit of the parties to the scheme.
Now, after delivering the judgement, court also issued several orders against DFCU including payment of huge costs to Crane Bank stakeholders. The orders are summarised below;
”It Is Ordered That:
- The Claimants’ appeal is allowed.
- Paragraphs 1-4 of the Pelling Order are set aside.
- The applications made by the First and Second Defendants and the Third to Fifth Defendants recited above are dismissed.
- The First to Fifth Defendants shall pay 75% of the Claimants’ costs of the appeal and of the costs below, such costs to be to subject to detailed
assessment if not agreed.
- The First to Fifth Defendants shall pay the Claimants the sum of £700,000 on account of the costs at paragraph 4 above within 14 days.
- The sums paid to the First to Fifth Defendants in accordance with paragraph 4 of the Pelling Order (as amended by the Second Pelling Order) shall be
repaid to the Claimants within 14 days, plus interest at a rate of 4.5% per annum from 27 October 2022 up to and including the date of repayment. This order was drawn by Ann Marie Smith (Associate) to whom all enquiries regarding this order should be made. When communicating with the Court please address correspondence to The Associate, Civil Appeals Office, Room E307, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL (DX 44456 Strand) and quote the Court of Appeal reference number. The Associate’s telephone number is 0207 947 7183 and 0207 947 7856.
- The First to Fifth Defendants must file and serve acknowledgements of service within:
(a) Seven days after the date on which the time limit expires for the First to Fifth Defendants to apply to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal this Order, if such application has not been made in that time;
(b) Seven days after the refusal by the Supreme Court of permission for the First to Fifth Defendants to appeal this Order, if an application for such permission has been made and refused; or
(c) Seven days after the determination by the Supreme Court of the First to Fifth Defendants’ appeal of this Order, if such an appeal is unsuccessful, and if the First to Fifth Defendants have brought such an appeal and been granted permission by the Supreme Court to do so.
- The First to Fifth Defendants must file Defences within 14 days of service of their acknowledgements of service.
- The applications of the First and Second Defendants and of the Third to Fifth Defendants for permission to appeal are refused.
See the Entire Order List Below