A land company that had sued Dubai Bank (in liquidation) to restrain the lender from putting up its properties for sale has lost an appeal challenging an earlier decision of the High Court setting aside a default judgment against the bank.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the case lodged by Kwanza Estates Ltd saying there was no merit in the complaint and that the High Court erred in setting aside the default judgment which was in the company’s favour.
Default judgements in most cases are in favour of a plaintiff when the defendant has failed appear in court or file a response to allegations. Appellate judges Alnashir Visram, Gatembu Kairu and Agnes Murgor said they were in agreement with the High Court’s decision that Kwanza Estates Ltd’s request for the judgment was not only premature but irregular.
“In our view, the factors which the judge (of the High Court) took into account are undoubtedly relevant matters for consideration in an application to set aside an ex parte judgment with which the court was dealing,” the judges said in their decision.
“As already stated, the judgment was irregular and the court was entitled to set it aside, even without being moved by any party to do so,” they said.
On the issues of joinder of the bank’s managing director Hassan Zubeidi in the suit, they noted that there are claims by Kwanza Estates that entitle him to defend himself and therefore renders him a necessary party to the suit.
Through lawyer Audrey Ogutu, Mr Zubeidi urged the court to dismiss the appeal by Kwanza Estate Ltd arguing that the High Court was justified in allowing him to join in the proceedings.