New Delhi: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Monday informed the Supreme Court that the May cycle of CA examination, scheduled between July 29 and August 16, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The counsel appearing for ICAI told a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna that now the May cycle examination will be merged with the November 2020 cycle of the CA exam.
The apex court was hearing through video-conferencing a plea which had challenged the ‘opt out’ option provided by ICAI alleging that it “arbitrarily” discriminate between the aspirants in May cycle of CA examination.
The plea had also sought more centres for the examination across the country.
“In view of the additional affidavit dated July 6, 2020 filed by … ICAI, as the examination scheduled in July 2020 has been cancelled, nothing survives for consideration in the present writ petition,” the bench noted in its order.
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, appearing for the petitioner, pointed out to certain aspects related to the CA examinations.
The top court granted liberty to the petitioner to make a representation before the ICAI in this regard and said that ICAI would decide it preferably within four weeks after receiving the same.
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
“Although, 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. Ordered accordingly, the bench said, while disposing of the petition.
On June 29, the apex court had said that ICAI should be flexible in conducting exams amid the pandemic and take care of concern of candidates.
It had suggested that option for change in examination centre should be made available to the aspirants till the last week before the scheduled exams.
It had observed that situation is not static and continuously changing and the ICAI should be flexible on the issues of ‘opt out’ and change of examination centre.
The ICAI’s counsel had earlier told the court that out of around 3,46,000 registered aspirants, nearly 53,000 have taken the ‘opt out’ option.
The plea filed in the apex court had alleged that ICAI had made an important announcement on June 15 by which it “arbitrarily decided to discriminate” between the aspirants by providing an option of ‘opt out’.
The ICAI’s counsel had told the court that it has ensured that no prejudice is caused to anybody by notification issued regarding the examination.
The petitioner, president of ‘India Wide Parents Association’, had claimed in the plea that ICAI has stated that students, who have already submitted online examination application for the May examination cycle, shall be allowed to ‘opt out’ and carry forward their candidature to November 2020 examination cycle.
“It is respectfully submitted that Respondent No.1 ICAI has notified that for the students who choose opt-out option, this attempt (May 2020) will be treated as cancelled/not counted. Thus, such student will be deprived of the May, 2020, attempt, as compared to other group of students, who choose opt-in option,” the plea had said, while seeking quashing of the announcement made in this regard on June 15.
“The said ‘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,” it had said.
It had said that free transportation and accommodation should be provided to the aspirants near their respective examination centres.
It had further sought directions to the authorities to conduct mandatory free COVID-19 test of all aspirants and teachers and staffs deployed at the examination centres.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.