Today, in a plea, the counsel for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)informed the Supreme Court that the Chartered Accountancy examinations will be postponed to November,as a response to a plea challenging the “opt-out scheme”, and seeking more centres for the CA exams.
In a press release issued by ICAI it has been stated that in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the exams which were scheduled to commence from 29th July would now be merged with the November exams.
ICAI’s Comment on CA exams 2020
“On a review of above developments and in order to ensure the interest of its students and their well-being, the Institute has decided to cancel May 2020 Examinations and merge the May 2020 attempt with November 2020 Examinations, with due carryover of all benefits already available to students including fee paid and exemptions”.
The matter was heard by a Bench comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna. Previously, the flexibility of the opt-out scheme, and the situation due to the pandemic was remarked not static, but dynamic by the Court.
Senior Advocate Ramji Srinivasan, appearing on behalf of ICAI was informed by the Bench, the option to change one’s centre for examination had to be kept open for all till the end and that being a professional body,and ICAI had the responsibility to take care of its students.
The June 15 notification issued by ICAI was challenged by Advocate AlakhAlok Srivastavaon behalf of India Wide Parents Association which stated that students could avail an “opt-out” option, as per which their attempt would be treated as cancelled and would be carried forward to the CA exams scheduled in November. The deadline was June 30 for availing the same.
The scheme was expressed as highly discriminatory and arbitrary by the petitioner as it did not take into consideration the students living in remote areas or containment zones who would be forced to opt out due to the restrictions imposed, as opposed to their counterparts living in urban areas. “One precious attempt” of taking the examination would be loosened by the candidates for CA exams.
Prayer for free transportation and free accommodation for those students who were not in close proximity to their respective Examination Centres in order to protect them from “unnecessary harassment” should be provided. e-Admit Cards for CA exams to be issued to caption the students as e-passes for free movement of the students living in containment/red zones during the examinations.
However, the court rejected this contention.