Courts

Businessman Parminder Singh Blunders In Sh15M Debt Row With Lawyer

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A Nairobi businessman, whose former lawyer is chasing him for a Sh15 million debt, has pushed himself into more legal trouble by bragging that he is a multimillionaire.

The lawyer, Ben Musundi, wants the insolvency court to allow him to recover the debt owed by Mr Parminder Singh Manku by attaching his properties.

Mr Musundi told the court that Mr Manku has portrayed himself as a wealthy man in another court in a Sh2 billion commercial dispute with his business partner Pravin Mavji Patel. He says that on February 16, 2018 he prepared and attested a share-purchase agreement between Mr Manku and Mr Patel, where the former purchased shares owned by the latter in Elite Earthmovers Limited for Sh2 billion. The lawyer says he was not paid for his legal services.

Mr Musundi says he recently learnt that Mr Manku had since fallen out with Mr Patel and that the two are entangled in a dispute in a commercial court in Milimani.

The Sh15 million debt, the subject of the insolvency suit, represented the accrued sum after Mr Musundi represented Mr Manku in several court cases. Mr Manku commenced the insolvency suit on May 31, 2021 after the lawyer asked the court to allow him to attach the businessman’s properties to settle the debt. Mr Manku said the government was not paying him for work he had done for it and most of his projects had stalled. He sought to be allowed to pay his debts in instalments.

But Mr Musundi says that based on affidavits filed by Mr Manku in the commercial court, he can pay the outstanding debt. He says Mr Manku, who has been a contractor for several years working on government infrastructure projects, should not be allowed to appear before one court as a multimillionaire and in another as a struggling pauper.

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In his filings in court, Mr Musundi says the businessman stated in the commercial court that in 2021 alone he earned Sh600 million and paid debts to the tune of Sh200 million for Elite Earthmovers.

Injected capital

“In his own evidence, he said he personally injected capital to the said company at some point to enable it complete its contracts and has also personally pursued construction contracts and capital on behalf of the said company to the tune of Sh90 million,” Mr Musundi says in court papers.

“Therefore, it is apparent from the court’s record that the main cause and the numerous applications filed by Mr Manku are a classic example of abuse of the court process and impunity by a party who is hell-bent on evading due process in settling his debts and other financial obligations when he clearly has the financial muscle to do so,” says Mr Musundi.

He says he continues to suffer irreparable damage because of the unpaid debt.

“It is apparent from his own pleadings in the commercial court that he is a man of means and has a huge stake in Elite Earthmovers and many other companies such as Broad Contractors Limited and can pay the debts. But has chosen to frustrate the creditor,” Mr Musundi adds.

Mr Musundi wants the court to dismiss Mr Manku’s request to have the attachment of his assets suspended.

He says the request was made in bad faith and is invalid under the Insolvency Act.


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