The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has sought more time in order to contact the exam centres and authorities to assess the situation and viability of conducting the Chartered Accountancy exam 2020. The exams were earlier scheduled to in May which was later slated to be conducted between July 29 to August 16.
Advocate Ramji Srinivasan appearing for ICAI stated that there are some operational problems related to the exam centres due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. “It is mindful of spike in Covid-19 cases in various states and might not go ahead with exam,” said ICAI.
The bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar and also comprising of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjeev Khanna has adjourned the matter till July 10.
SC bench was hearing petition filed by India Wide Parents Association president, Anubha Shrivastava Saha. The petition seeks to quash of the new notification issued which allows CA aspirants to opt-out of the CA exam this year in view if the coronavirus outbreak and continuously increasing cases. The petitioner calls it a violation of the fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
Considering it an arbitrary or discriminatory move, the petitioner stated in its petition, “If the option was exercised then the underprivileged and unfortunate students who reside in red zones and containment zones will be losing out a year and those who are fortunate and have the means to access the exam centers living in big cities in green zones will have the benefit of attending the exams.”
The petitioner has also sought the apex court directions to increase the number of centres and let the aspirants change their centre as per their convenience amid such critical situations. Anubha also asks for free transport for the candidates who don’t reside near close proximity to the examination centre.
ICAI said that no disqualification will be there if an aspirant opts for the November exam instead of July. The SC bench has suggested ICAI that a student who has been unable to appear for the exam will be considered as an “opt out case” even if they don’t choose the “opt out” option.
Besides adjourning the matter till next week, the court has also directed ICAI to frame and issue new guidelines.
(This news has been written and submitted by Mr. Yogesh Sharma during his course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Mr. Yogesh is a third-year law student at Chandigarh University, Gharuan, Mohali.)