SC moved to remove SECP insurance commissioner


The Supreme Court has been moved to remove Commissioner Insurance SECP from his post due to clear conflict of interest, supporting powerful cartels and squeezing smaller insurance companies.
Kokab Iqbal Advocate who is also President of Human Rights and Welfare Trust, has filed a writ petition under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution in the Apex Court praying that the former chairman SECP Muhammad Ali was relieved by the Supreme Court (SC) but his appointee, Commissioner Insurance Asif Arif is still serving the institution. The petitioner alleged that Asif Arif was appointed as commissioner due to influence of the insurance cartel comprising Eastern Federal Union (EFU), Adamjee Insurance, and Jubilee Insurance having 70 per cent market share in the Rs 36 billion market. After appointment, he was allegedly bribed by EFU by opening an insurance agency in the name of his wife and amount worth tens of millions was transferred to her as agency commission making the regulator an indirect agent of EFU and insurance cartel which is clear conflict of interest. He further alleged that after getting benefits, Asif Arif started victimising and harassing 35 smaller insurance companies having 30 per cent market share. This act has brought many companies to their knees and put thousands of jobs at stake, he claimed. Moreover, the petitioner said the Commissioner Insurance has selected some blue eyed firms to conduct audit depriving other companies. The petition also questioned the transfer of Insurance Division of the SECP to Karachi without justification whereas the rest of the divisions have been discharging duties from Islamabad. “Rules were framed forcing insurance companies to invest in stock market making all other venues unattractive for them,” the petition added. The petitioner further submitted that the former chairman carried out hundreds of recruitments including eight directors with salary around Rs 300,000 per month putting additional burden of Rs 120 million on the SECP.