New Delhi, June 29: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to issue fresh guidelines for conducting CA exams, incorporating the suggestions made by the bench. The PIL filed by the President of the India Wide Parents Association sought quashing of the notification issued by the ICAI allowing chartered accountant (CA) aspirants to opt-out of the exams this year. CA Exams 2020 Update: ICAI Postpones Reopening of Correction Window For Changing Exam Centres.
A three-judge virtual bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar said that the ICAI should be flexible with the "opt-out" scheme for the CA examinations to be held between July 29 and August 16 considering the COVID-19 pandemic. Observing that the situation due to pandemic was not "static" and was "dynamic", the apex court said the option for opt-out must be kept open till the last exam. The ICAI had set the deadline to avail the "opt-out" option June 29. CA Exams 2020: ‘Postpone Examinations Till November’, Demand ICAI Students As They Launch Twitter Campaign Amid COVID-19 Pandemic.
"Those who have not opted out and are unable to take exam due to any exigency, let those students have the same benefit as someone who has opted out", Justice Khanwilar suggested. "If someone does not appear for the CA exam, treat them as opted out. As simple as that. Assume that it is COVID-19 related", the judge added. The bench also made two suggestions; Opting out shall remain active till the last paper and guidelines issued by MHA for the conduct of CBSE exams should be adopted.
"Don't make taking of any CA exam difficult for students. Don't make this semester-based opting out. You (ICAI) are a professional body. Take care of your students", the bench told Senior Advocate Ramji Srinivasan, counsel for ICAI. "Once the option of opting out is kept open till last paper, no other logistic concern would be relevant", the bench remarked.
The May CA exam cycle has been re-scheduled between July 29 and August 16, and a notification was issued with the opt-out option on June 15 and June 20. The petitioner termed this a discriminatory move. The petitioner urged the apex court to quash the notification with the opt-out option on the grounds that it violates the fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 29, 2020 12:26 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).