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Rajiv sues dfcu over publicised personal information

In October, dfcu Bank, through its lawyers Kalenge, Bwanika, Ssawa and Company Advocates, claimed that ever since it acquired and assumed some of the liabilities of Crane Bank 10 months ago, Rajiv, as an individual, has “sponsored, coordinated, and propagated a fake news campaign against its operations and business.” Dfcu publicised Rajiv's telephone contact in the legal notice.

COURT | Rajiv Ruparelia has finally sued Development Finance Bank of Uganda (dfcu) for “breach of banker customer relationship obligation of confidentiality” and defamation.

The suit comes months after Rajiv, through Walsuimbi and Company Advocates, wrote to dfcu warning the bank that it faced legal action for widely circulating a legal notice that exposed his phone number, a detail he says is held by the bank by virtue of having taken over from Crane Bank — which was owned was his father Sudhir Ruparelia.

Now in his suit filed on December 7, 2018, Rajiv says that dfcu operates a number of his accounts which it inherited from Crane Bank. Additionally, he says he has “bigger number of accounts” by virtue of his directorship to such companies as Crane Management Services, Premier Recruitment Cervices and Meera Investment Group.

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For the purpose of operating the accounts aforementioned, Rajiv says that dfcu, as part of the “know your customer” obligations procured and retained data in written format personal to him, including his telephone number.

In October, dfcu Bank, through its lawyers Kalenge, Bwanika, Ssawa and Company Advocates, claimed that ever since it acquired and assumed some of the liabilities of Crane Bank 10 months ago, Rajiv, as an individual, has “sponsored, coordinated, and propagated a fake news campaign against its operations and business.”

The bank claimed the motive of alleged social media and news portals attacks on dfcu Bank is to cause a bank run (when a large number of customers of a bank withdraw their deposits simultaneously due to concerns about its solvency) and eventual collapse of dfcu.

But Rajiv counter served dfcu with a legal notice over the claims that he was paying journalists to defame dfcu, as well as the publication of his private detail.

Contrary to the commercial banking practices and in breach of confidence, from October5, 2018, Rajiv says that dfcu unlawfully supplied on various media platforms a letter containing “ their customers phone contacts.”

Rajiv says media publication of his personal data have never been retracted and remain in circulation to date, Rajiv says.

In the suit, Rajiv also claims that dfcu defamed him when it alleged that he coordinated a fake news campaign against the bank. Rajiv says that the dfcu claimed, without evidence, that pays online news sites and blogs such as Spy Reports, Eagle Online, Kyamutetera.com, Crime24, the Ugandan and PML Daily, to run malicious falsehoods about the bank.

The words that Rajiv considers defamatory found in dfcu’s October legal notice are “Over the last 10 months, since our client’s successful and lawful acquisition of some of the assets and assumptions of some of the liabilities of Crane Bank (in receivership), you have sponsored, coordinated and propagated a fake news campaign against our client and causing it to collapse.”

The defamatory content Rajiv says was not published to limitless online public by dfcu but also published to such offices as the Minister for Security; the Director of Internal Security Organization (ISO) and Director of Criminal Investigation Directorate.

Dfcu’s publications had the effect of casting Rajiv in multifarious shades of bad light to wit; as disloyal to his own family’s business interests, unconcerned with his business’ banker’s negative prospects, as reckless, uncalculating an devoid of reason and unduly compromising to the fourth estate, the plaint says.

“By reason of the aforementioned unlawful acts of dfcu and its agents, Rajiv has suffered psychological torture mala fide from the bank,” the plaint goes on.

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