The Full Bench of the Supreme Court last Friday unanimously agreed that Upjit Singh Sachdeva known as (Jeety), an Indian businessman, was innocent of a fraudulent lease agreement allegation.
The court also declared that another Indian businessman, Paul Raspal, general manager of Sethi Brothers Incorporated, was also innocent of similar allegation.
The claimed was brought against the two men by Madam Bindu Fatumata Dukuly, a Liberian woman residing in Dubai, the United Arabs Emirates.
Her lawyers were pushing for the court to cancel a 20 years Lease agreement between Madam Dukuly, Raspal and Jeety because of alleged fraud, though she had received US$62,500, as part payment of the first five years.
The property at the center of the dispute is a story building and a lot situated in Mamba Point, in Monrovia.
The Highest Court’s action followed after it upheld a 2013 ruling of a lower court, Civil Law Court, at the Temple of Justice, of which Madam Dukuly’s lawyers rejected and announced an appeal before the Full Bench.
Unfortunately, after announcing her appeal, Madam Dukuly’s lawyers failed to follow the process, meaning they didn’t file her appeal bond and a notice of completion of the appeal.
It was based on that the court in upholding the lower court’s judgment declared that “Dukuly’s lawyers having failed to perfect the appeal within 60 days, as required by law, and the reason advanced by them for its failure to perfect the appeal not being tenable in law, deprived this court of jurisdiction over the case.”
The Highest Court further declared that, “Hench, the motion to dismiss the appeal is hereby granted and Dukuly’s appeal is dismissed.”
They went on to instruct their clerk by saying, “the Clerk of this Court is hereby ordered to send a mandate to the judge presiding in the court below to resume jurisdiction over the case and enforce its judgment costs and ruled against Madam Dukuly.”
Cleverly, after noticing that Dukuly’s lawyers did not complete the appeal process within the 60 days provided under the law, it was when the Indian businessmen’s lawyers pleaded with the Full Bench to dismiss the matter, which they did.
Before the Supreme Court could come out with their decision, Judge Yussif D. Kaba, who presided over the case, at the Civil Law Court, in his judgment said,”Madam Dukuly and all of her witnesses failed to provide evidences to link the defendants, Upjit Singh Sachdeva known as (Jeety) and Paul Raspal, general manager of Sethi Brothers Incorporated to fraud.”
In that judgment, Judge Kaba further clarified that “during the preparation of the agreement it was established that the parties agreed for him, Raspal to sub-lease the property, at the center of the lawsuit to anyone of his relatives.”
He emphasized that “She, Dukuly did not say, Paul should not sub-lease it to Jeety neither so, since it was not part of the agreement, in the minds of the court there is no fraud.”
The case grew on September 21, 2012, when Madam Bindu Fatumata Dukuly, a Liberian woman residing in Dubai, the United Arabs Emirates filed to the Civil Law Court, a petition for “Cancellation of Lease Agreement for Fraud” against two Indian businessmen, Paul Raspal, general manager of Sethi Brothers Incorporated, and Upjit Singh Sachdeve also known as “Jeety.”
In her complaints, Madam Dukuly alleged that in early 2012, she became very ill and needed to undergo surgical operation abroad and in an attempt to raise fund, decided to lease her property for the first five years out of twenty years to cover travelling expenses including hotel bill medical expense.
After leasing the property, she alleged that she later realized that Raspal had sub-leased it to another Indian businessman, Jeety, whom she claimed she had refused to lease her property to him, contending that The Sethi Brothers general manager deceived her.
However, defense lawyers argued that there was no deception of fraud on the implementation of the agreement.
They contended that Madam Dukuly and Raspal agreed for the Sethi Brothers general manager to sub-lease the property to any of his relatives, and this was exactly what he did.
Beside that they argued that Jeety is Raspal’s uncle stressing for the continuation of their agreement, since they had paid for five of the twenty years agreed upon.