The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Monday postponed hearing on Sahara Life’s petition against insurance regulator IRDAI’s order to sell its business to ICICI Prudential Life to August 10. Last Monday, a two-member bench of SAT, comprising justices CKG Nair and Jog Singh, had admitted the petition by Sahara Life, and ordered a status quo in the matter. The tribunal said it would try to expedite the hearing on the case before the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) order comes into effect on August 21.
IRDAI had on July 28 asked private sector life insurer ICICI Prudential Life to take over the business of Sahara Life on or before August 21. A 15-day moratorium has been given to policyholders to pay renewal premia, and ICICI Prudential was given 21 days to settle the claims after which servicing of Sahara Life’s policyholders would be done by ICICI Prudential. IRDAI also asked ICICI Prudential to ensure that systems are integrated within a year from the appointed date. IRDAI counsel Somasekhar Sundaresan argued that as Sahara Life had allegedly siphoned off Rs 78 crore, transfer of business to ICICI Prudential is necessary to protect policyholder’s interest. Sahara counsel Gaurav Joshi countered this and said the company had not siphoned off any money and the said money was a security deposit which had been used by Sahara for legal business transaction.