Mombasa-based businessman Ashok Doshi’s legal battle to recover his Sh1 billion stuck in collapsed Imperial Bank Ltd has encountered hurdles after the High Court directed parties to the suit to file documents afresh.
Justice Patrick Otieno set aside all proceedings in the trial pursuant to directions he issued on November 27 last year.
Prior to pausing proceedings of the suit, the court had declined a Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) application that sought to suspend (proceedings) to enable it appeal the court’s decision on Mr Doshi’s production of documents.
When Mr Doshi took over the witness box and started giving his evidence, Imperial Bank - through lawyer Philip Murgor - objected to his use of photocopied documents. The CBK, through lawyer Paul Chege, also raised a similar objection.
“The plaintiff is not a maker of the documents, they are photocopies. Secondary evidence produced by a party is supposed to satisfy the requirements of the Evidence Act,” said Mr Chege.
Lawyer Francis Kadima for the plaintiff said those opposed to use of the documents should have upon being served (with the said documents) expressed their wish to have makers of the documents to attend court.
Mr Kadima then briefly consulted with his colleagues before deciding to forgo hearing of the case.
The court directed Mr Doshi to file his documents within 14 days and a corresponding period for the CBK and Imperial Bank to do the same.
Mr Doshi argues in his suit that the placement of Imperial Bank under receivership and its closure was premature and was done hurriedly as a cover up of the bank’s unethical activities in collusion with the CBK.
The billionaire businessman has sued the sector regulator and Imperial Bank Ltd, which is under receivership, to secure his deposit of $8,715,000 with interest at contractual terms at the current exchange rates in Kenyan currency and Sh49 million.
Mr Doshi accuses the CBK of abdicating its statutory obligations by failing to use its powers under the Banking Act to detect and stem fraud on time.
“The plaintiff further states that Imperial Bank was unlawfully put under receivership as it was not insolvent as stated in a CBK letter, hence the defendants are liable to pay the plaintiffs all their deposits,” Mr Doshi says.
The businessman further argues that the CBK is concealing from Imperial Bank depositors facts disclosed by ensuing investigations, especially FTI Consulting LLP London’s report.
Mr Doshi wants an order directing the CBK and Imperial Bank to file in court a report by FTI Consulting LLP, London as well as the report from the regulator’s own investigations.
He also wants an order directing the CBK to file a status affairs of the Imperial Bank at its closure and the current status.
The case will be mentioned on July 27 for fresh pre-trial conference.