Press Trust of India|Jun 29, 2021
ICAI CA Exam 2020: SC asks ICAI to release fresh guidelines for exam; hearing on July 2
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday, asked The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to issue fresh guidelines for the ICAI CA exam 2020. ICAI told the SC on Friday that it would file an affidavit on the plea which has challenged its 'opt out' option for ICAI CA 2020 exams, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exam of ICAI CA 2020 is scheduled to be held on scheduled between July 29 and August 16.
Recently, ICAI extended the last date to submit the opt-out choice.
During the hearing, the panel of judges observed that given that the situation around the coronavirus pandemic is dynamic not static, ICAI should allow students the opt-out facility till the day of the exam. Further, the court said that during times like these the institute needs to be flexible towards the exam pattern. The court also stated that the change in exam centre facility should also be open till the very last day of the exam.
A virtual Bench of three-judges led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar said, "ICAI counsel may take instructions and file the modified draft notification setting out the changes."
The Supreme Court told ICAI, "The situation is continuously changing. Even if a candidate has not chosen opt-out option if they suddenly come under a containment zone what will you do? You should treat candidates who don't appear as opt-out cases."
Ramji Srinivasan told Supreme Court, "A total of 3.46 lakh students registered for ICAI CA 2020 exams out of which only 53,000 students have taken the opt-out option"
The apex court was hearing through video-conferencing a plea which has alleged that ICAI had made an important announcement on June 15 by which it "arbitrarily decided to discriminate"
Alakh Alok Srivastava on behalf of ‘India Wide Parents Association’, filed a plea stating "The ‘opt-out’ option discriminates between those underprivileged group of CA students/ aspirants, who are living in remote areas of the country or living in the containment zones and thus are slated to lose one precious ‘examination attempt’ by choosing ‘opt-out’ option amidst ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as compared to that privileged group of students/ aspirants, who are living in big cities/ green zones and thus they have no problem in appearing in the said examination.”
ICAI notified that for the students who choose this option, their attempt (May 2020) will be treated as cancelled or not counted.
The petition said the scheme discriminates against students living in remote areas or containment zones as due to the restrictions, they would be forced to opt-out unlike their counterparts living in urban areas.
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