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Not qualified for the post? Promote higher: IRDAI policy

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Chennai, May 16 (IANS) Not qualified for the post of Chief General Manager in Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)? Then promote the official as Executive Director, the next higher cadre seems to be the IRDAI’s policy, said officials.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, IRDAI officials told IANS: “Recently Chief General Manager Mamta Suri was promoted as Executive Director. The Telangana High Court had recently held that she does not have the requisite qualification for being promoted to that post.”

Last year, the court had held that the IRDAI’s then Chairman did not have the authority to relax the qualifications for selecting a person to the post of CGM.

As per the IRDAI norms, only a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) can be considered for the post of CGM while the action of the Chairman in relaxing FCA to CFA/ICWAI (Chartered Financial Analyst/Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India) and providing appointment to another is without jurisdiction and arbitrary.

The high court ordered that S.N. Jayasimhan, FCA, is the only person qualified and the IRDAI shall consider his case for the post of CGM forthwith with all consequential benefits.

It also set aside the promotion orders of Suri, holding that she does not possess the FCA qualification and her promotion is illegal.

The court also held that the power of relaxing the qualification is not vested with the IRDAI Chairman since no resolution to that effect has been passed.

Hence the action of the Chairman in relaxing FCA to CFA/ICWAI and promoting Suri is contrary to law, arbitrary, and without jurisdiction.

On her part, Suri preferred an appeal against the Single Judge’s order.

The Bench ordered an interim suspension of the Single Judge order, but added its order does not come in the way of the IRDAI promoting Jayasimhan in the existing vacancies.

It is learnt the case is coming up for hearing on June 10 where her promotion to the post of Executive Director will also be raised.

The IRDAI had called for applications from its Chief General Managers for being promoted to Executive Director in April 2022.

The IRDAI official also raised the issue of Suri’s legal qualification.

On August 16, 2017 the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) issued a statement about Suri taking charge as the Executive Director wherein it was mentioned that she had completed graduation in law.

“Whether she had completed the law degree before joining IRDAI in early 2000 or after that. Whether necessary permission has been taken from IRDAI is also not known,” the source said.

Be that as it may, is IRDAI becoming top heavy is the question that is being raised by industry officials.

Apart from Suri, IRDAI had promoted Randip Singh Jagpal as Executive Director in May 2022.

Already the insurance regulatory had Suresh Mathur as Executive Director.

He was deputed to Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM) as Managing Director.

It has been reported that the former Managing Director of Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM) had written to IRDAI that the institute cannot be a parking ground for some routine transfers at IRDAI to favour some and punish some.

The IIRM is promoted by IRDAI and Telangana government.

Lack of proper promotion and transfer policies leading to arbitrariness in decisions, amending eligibility conditions and qualifications after the recruitment process has begun, scrapping the recruitment process midway are some of the human resources issues afflicting the IRDAI, sources had told IANS earlier.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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