SC sets aside SAT’s order against IRDAI

The Supreme Court has set aside the order of a Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) where the tribunal had made strong comments about the insurance regulator in a dispute involving insurance brokers. The apex court, in its order, said that it failed to find any document that established that a bribe was paid.

The tribunal had issued an order on an appeal by UK-based insurance broker Atkins Special Risks.

Atkins had said that it had been providing reinsurance cover to a private company Jagson International between 2002-12 and that the chairman Jagdish Gupta had diverted the business to Marsh in return for kickbacks.

Atkins had approached the tribunal after the insurance regulator Irdai disposed of its complaint that Marsh had poached business unlawfully.

Earlier, the tribunal had observed that the complaint showed that the appellant had relied on documentary evidence in support of the contention that Gupta had sought bribe and was bribed by the officers of Marsh for diverting their reinsurance business.

Not only had the SAT overturned IRDAI’s order, it had also passed strong comments against the regulator’s member P J Joseph and opined that the order issued by Joseph amounted to aiding and abetting corruption. Last year, the SC had expunged the harsh words against Joseph from SAT’s order while admitting an appeal. Allowing the appeal in its latest order, the SC said that the order of the IRDAI passed on January 9, 2018, is sustained.

“On going through the materials made available before us at the time of hearing, we are of the opinion that there was no occasion for interfering with the order of the Irdai by the tribunal,” the order said.

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