Giving a week’s relief to Sahara India Life Insurance (SILIC), the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) today stayed the IRDAI decision to sell the business of the Sahara group company to ICICI Prudential Life Insurance. The tribunal fixed the next hearing in the matter on August 7 when it will decide on the maintainability of the petition filed by SILIC against the IRDAI order. A two-member bench of SAT, comprising Justices C K G Nair and Jog Singh, without admitting the petition by Sahara Life, ordered a status quo in the matter. Last Friday, the insurance regulator had asked ICICI Prudential to take over the assets and liabilities of Sahara Life from July 31. Sahara Life Insurance was represented by law firm Markand Gandhi & Co.
The embattled Sahara group had approached SAT against IRDAI order, directing transfer of its life insurance business to ICICI Prudential, alleging the regulator has “wrongly concluded” that the promoter was no more ‘fit and proper’ and a sum of Rs 78 crore was siphoned of.
In a statement following IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) order dated July 28, the group said Sahara Life business is being “wrongfully” given to ICICI Prudential Life. “Sahara Life is doing business since 2004 and over the last seven years running continuously in profit. It has been in absolute and strict compliance of all regulatory norms and directions issued by IRDAI,” the group said. It further said Sahara Life’s asset is more than its liability and there is not a single complaint of non-payment by any policy holder. “However, it is unfortunate that IRDAI has handed over Sahara Life business to another insurance company ICICI Prudential,” the group alleged.