COVID-19| CA Exams: SC asks ICAI to submit modified Notification with a flexible opt-out scheme by Thursday

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has asked ICAI to issue fresh Notification for conduct of CA examinations and has listed the matter on July 2, 2020 after ICAI sought for short adjournment for taking instructions and producing draft notification/circular, likely to be issued to address the stated concerns of the students/candidates.

The Court suggested ICAI that a student who has been unable to appear for the exam should be considered an “opt-out case” even if they don’t choose the opt-out option. Considering that the situation and conditions of COVID-19 are continuously changing, the Court said,

“if a candidate has not chosen opt-out option and they suddenly come under a containment zone what will you do? You should treat candidates who don’t appear as opt-out cases,”

Senior Advocate Ramji Srinivasan told the Court that out of 3 lakh 46 thousand students registered only 53,000 students have taken the opt-out option.

The ICAI’s scheme allows students to opt-out of the exam. Their exam would be deemed to be cancelled.

The Court is hearing a please seeking a stay on the ICAI’s ‘opt-out’ scheme for CA students scheduled to appear for the May cycle exam between July 29 and August 16. The PIL has also sort also sought more examination centres for the conduct of July CA Exam 2020. The petition states the ‘opt-out’ 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.

[Anubha Srivastava Sahai v. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 551 , order dated 29.06.2020]

(With inputs from India TV News)

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