By Sania Babirye
The commercial court has pushed to the 29th of February to deliver a ruling in a case in which Kampala Tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia filed against DFCU bank challenging law firm of Sebalu Lule and company advocates from representing DFCU against him.
This is after the court failed to deliver its ruling as expected on Wednesday. The date was set by commercial court head Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa after both parties concluded defending their cases on the 8th of April in which Sudhir wants to stop the law firm due to conflict if interest while, the lawyers want the application dismissed because it lacks merit.
The law firm is representing DFCU which Sudhir through his real estate company, Crane management services dragged to court accusing it of failing to pay rent arrears amounting to 2.9billion shillings arising from suit property that was formally owned crane bank.
According to the suit, Crane Management services claims that when DFCU took over management of Crane Bank, it illegally took possession of the rental facilities from which the real estate company seeks to recover its arrears.
However in defense, DFCU contracted the Law firm of Sebalu , Lule and Advocates for representation which Sudhir is contesting.
In his submissions , Sudhir claims that the law firm cannot represent DFCU because he used the same firm in 2006 to draw and review tenancy agreements in respect of the said rental premises.
However in their defense the law firm through its lawyer Peter Walubiri, have asked the judge to dismiss the application for lack of merit saying the tenancy agreements drawn in 2006 are not confidential in any way to dent Sudhir’s case .
On the 19th of March this year Justice Gadenya accepted to preside over the case and set the date following an earlier decisions by both the head of the commercial court David Wangtusi and his deputy declining to preside over the case.
Justice Wangtusi was the second judge to excuse himself from trying the case which has stalled for some months after his deputy justice Jane Elizabeth Alidviza also excused herself from the same case and sent the case file back to justice Wangtusi on grounds that he was already handling cases related to the same file.
According to Sudhir who is the owner of the Crane management service Ltd , the lawyers can not represent DFCU Bank because of conflict of interest since the same lawyers had represented him before and can not turn around and represent his opponent DFCU bank .
Sudhir says the same lawyer can not represent him in one case and then represent his opponent in another case because confidential information that was exchanged and discussed between them will be prejudiced in relation to the DFCU matter.