IRDA defends order on merger of Sahara Life, ICICI Prudential

Mumbai: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) said its order directing the shotgun marriage of Sahara India Life Insurance Co. Ltd and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd was the culmination of a two-year process.

The regulator was replying to Sahara’s appeal in the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) challenging the merger on the grounds that IRDA did not follow the principles of natural justice. Mint has reviewed a copy of IRDA’s reply to SAT.

In its 29 July order, IRDA said that Sahara was not interested in reviving its business.

Every relevant part in the two-year quasi-judicial process was made known to Sahara and the company was served two show-cause notices in the past two years, IRDA said.

“The appellant (Sahara) chose not to reply or to provide vague and evasive replies. Well after the Administrator was appointed, the appellant provided a vague, belated and unimpressive reply to the first show-cause notice—a case of too little too late,” IRDA said in its reply.


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