Special courts: SECP suggests setting up insurance tribunal

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has approached the Law and Justice Division recommending it to establish a specialised and independent insurance tribunal in Islamabad.

The tribunal would be in accordance with the provisions of the Insurance Ordinance 2000 that will clear the backlog of cases.

In a letter, the SECP has pointed out to the law ministry that in 2006 with the approval of the chief justices of relevant high courts, the federal government had conferred the powers of insurance tribunal on district and sessions judges in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. But due to the heavy workload in the sessions courts, the SECP’s complaints have been pending for the last five years.

“The desired results could not be achieved as no relief was provided to the aggrieved policyholders,” an SECP official said.

In order to provide speedy justice to the aggrieved policyholders, the SECP is in favour of establishing independent and exclusive insurance tribunals as envisaged under Sections 121, 122 and 123 of the Insurance Ordinance.

The SECP has offered to provide office space to the specialised tribunals at its offices in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan, Quetta and Karachi.

The SECP has also pointed out that it has no objection to the Law and Justice Division’s proposal of conferring powers of the insurance tribunal on the district and sessions judge as an interim arrangement.

Meanwhile, the SECP has started formulating regulations for the small dispute resolution committees. These committees will arbitrate between insurance companies and the policyholders.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd,  2015.