COVID-19| SC disposes of the petition after ICAI postpones CA exams to November 2020

Supreme Court: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has submitted before the Supreme Court that the May cycle exams, slated to be held in July-August amid the COVID-19 pandemic, have been postponed till November 2020. The Court hence disposed of the writ petition and said,

“In view of the additional affidavit dated 06.07.2020 filed by respondent No.1-The Institute of Chartered Accounts of India (ICAI), as the examination scheduled in July, 2020 has been cancelled, nothing survives for consideration in the present Writ Petition. “

Ramji Srinivasan, the lawyer appearing for the ICAI, submitted before the Court that the institute had decided not to hold the CA examinations this semester and added that it is likely to postpone the same till November 2020.

The bench of Uday Umesh Lalit and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ disposed of the plea after hearing the submissions of ICAI. It, however, granted the petitioner the liberty to make a representation to the ICAI for remaining issues, if any. ICAI will have to make a decision on the same within four weeks.

“we intend to dispose of this Writ Petition, liberty is granted to the petitioner to make a representation to the ICAI in respect of other suggestions/issues which be decided by the ICAI on its own merits and in accordance with law expeditiously, preferably within four weeks from receipt of copy of the representation.”

The Court was hearing a petition filed by Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, the President of India Wide Parents Association, seeking directions to conduct the exams at a large number of centres amid appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava had appeared for the petitioner before the top court and was arguing through video conferencing in the matter. The plea also sought a stay on the “opt-out” scheme for around 3.46 lakh CA students, who were scheduled to appear in the May cycle exams, that was earlier set to be conducted by the ICAI (/topic/icai) between July 29 to August 16.

The ICAI had given its candidates, who had already submitted an online examination application for May 2020 Examination cycle, the option to opt-out from May 2020 examinations and carry forward their candidature to the next examination.

The court had earlier suggested the ICAI consider the students who are unable to appear for the exam to be considered an “opt-out case” even if they don’t choose the same.

[Anubha Srivastava Sahai v. Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 568 , order dated  13.07.2020]

(With inputs from ANI)

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