New Delhi: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) informed the Supreme Court Thursday that there could be “operational problems” in holding the chartered accountancy (CA) exams, which are scheduled to be held between 29 July and 16 August, due to Covid-19.
A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna was informed by ICAI that it might not go ahead with the exam for the May 2020 examination cycle.
The court asked the ICAI to contact all centres and check if the exams can be held or not. The institute has been given time till 10 July to get back to the court.
ICAI had issued notifications on 15 and 20 June for an “opt-out” facility, allowing students to carry forward their candidature in the next examination, that are to be held in the November 2020 cycle. The deadline for this option was set as 30 June.
This was challenged through a petition by Anubha Srivastava Sahai, who has contended that the deadline is arbitrary.
The petition asserts that ICAI’s option discriminates against students who live in remote areas or in containment zones because they will have no choice but to opt out of their July tests and lose “one precious examination attempt”.
The petitioner has also demanded increasing the number of examination centres to at least one in each district, so that a maximum number of students can take the exams.
Permit students to opt out ’till the last day’
The ICAI had earlier informed the bench that the limited window for opting-out of the July exams was to get a sense of the number of students who will finally take the tests.
During a hearing on 29 June, the court had asked the ICAI to consider permitting students to opt out of the exams till the last day.
The court had asserted that the situation around Covid-19 was “dynamic” and “not static” and said the ICAI should be “flexible and not rigid” towards the exam pattern at a time like this.