UK-based Atkins Special Risks said it has complete faith in the Indian legal system that appropriate action would be taken with regard to the complaint against Jagson International, which said it was exploring all remedies in law for managing the brand from wrong allegations. Earlier this month, the Securities Appellate Tribunal asked the IRDAI to pass a fresh order after setting aside a ruling passed by a member of the regulator regarding the complaint. In its order, the tribunal had come down heavily on IRDAI Member (non-life) P J Joseph for making a “false statement” in the order on a plea filed by Atkins Special Risks against Jagson International. In a statement, Jagson International claimed that Atkins along with its Indian associates has now engaged in a smear campaign to damage the name and reputation of Jagson and its chairman with false and completely untruthful statements. While noting that it maintains the highest standards of ethical behaviour and fully complies with the laws in letter and spirit, Jagson also said, “we are exploring all the remedies which are available to us in law for managing our brand from wrong allegations”. Responding to the allegations, Atkins said it would refrain from making any comments on the case and would await the outcome of the proceedings now pending before the IRDAI. “We have full and complete faith in the Indian legal system that appropriate action would be taken on our complaint made to the IRDAI,” the company said in a statement to PTI.
Atkins is into broking special risk insurance and re-insurance with core competence in marine and energy insurance. It provided international re-insurance cover to Jagson during the period 2002-2012 for a yearly commission. From 2010 onwards, Jagson Chairman Jagdish Gupta’s demand for a cut from the commission was rejected by Atkins, according to details mentioned in the SAT order. Later in 2012, the company’s re-insurance business was transferred to Marsh India Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd. Suspecting that illegal means were adopted by Gupta in transferring the business, Atkins moved the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in August 2015. As no action was taken, a writ petition was filed in September 2017 before the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Court — which directed the insurance regulator to consider the complaint.
However, Joseph passed an impugned order in January this year wherein the complaint was dismissed, saying that no documentary proof or material information was submitted. In its order passed on March 16, the tribunal said perusal of the complaint clearly shows that Atkins had relied on documentary evidence. “We fail to understand as to how Member (non-life) could make such false statement in the impinged order. In our opinion, the impinged order passed by P J Joseph (non-life) virtually amounts to aiding and abetting corruption in the insurance business by the regulator which cannot be tolerated,” the tribunal said and asked the IRDAI to entrust the matter to a “competent officer other than P J Joseph” for passing fresh order on the complaint, it noted. The SAT order made it clear that the tribunal has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the complaint filed by the appellant.