Providing an interim relief, the Supreme Court(SC), that opened on Monday after six weeks of Summer break,stayed the March 16 judgment of the Securities Appellate Tribunal order that had made strong charges against PJ Joseph, member(non-life), IRDAI.
According to the SC website, the matter will (tentatively) be heard next on August 17.
Earlier, before closing for the vacation, the SC had sought an affidavit from the IRDAI on whether it was represented through a lawyer when the SAT called an order passed by its member as one that “virtually amounts to aiding and abetting corruption”.Hearing an pre Summer-break appeal, filed by the IRDAI, a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the competent authority in the regulator to file an unequivocal affidavit.
IRDAI had filed an appeal in the SC against SAT order, which the regulator said was issued without giving it a proper hearing.
In March 2018, the SAT in a case “about sharing of commission illegally involving Marsh India Insurance Brokers’’had given a judgment charging Joseph of “virtually aiding and abetting corruption”.
The order was issued by SAT presiding officer Justice J P Devadhar in an appeal filed by UK-based insurance broker Atkins Special Risks against an order issued by the insurance regulator.
Justice Devadhar had directed IRDAI re-probe the matter and "entrust the matter to an officer other than Joseph for passing a fresh order."
However SAT was cautious in its order, saying they had clearly not expressed any opinion on the merit of the complaint filed by appellant.
Atkins Special Risks, a UK-based insurance broker, had in August 2015 filed a complaint with Irdai, alleging Jagdish Gupta, chairman of Jagson International, began demanding a cut from the commission it earned for providing a reinsurance cover.The yearly commission stood at 27.5 per cent of the premium paid for reinsurance cover.
Atkins said it refused to pay the cut. Subsequently, Jagsons' reinsurance contract was taken away from them and given to Marsh India Insurance Brokers.
Because Irdai did not take any action, Atkins approached the high court of Telangana and Andhra, which directed the regulator to look into the matter.
In January, Joseph presided over the investigation into the Atkins allegations, and passed an order disposing of the complaint, saying there was inadequate evidence for the contentions.