CA Exam 2020: Supreme Court ask ICAI To Be Flexible On CA Exam ‘Opt Out’ Option
CA Exam: The Supreme Court on Monday gave a relaxation to Chartered Accountancy (CA) students, and ordered a flexible ‘Opt-out’ scheme for the upcoming CA Exam 2020 going to held between July 29 and August 16, 2020 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
A bench comprising of the Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna heard a plea against the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for a stay order on the opt-out scheme for CA Exam July 2020. The Supreme Court bench asked the ICAI to issue a fresh notification in this regard.
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The SC told to ICAI “The situation is continuously changing. Even if a candidate has not chosen opt-out option if they suddenly come under a containment zone what will you do ? You should treat candidates who don’t appear as opt-out cases”
“If any student is unable to attend any exam, it will be deemed that he opted out. Exams for the papers students were unable to take would be deemed as cancelled. This has to be done considering the situation now. A situation may arise that a student’s family member is tested positive, you (ICAI) cannot force him to appear for the exams and infect other students,” Justice Khanwilkar observed.
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The ICAI, represented by senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan, said there were 500 examination centres. They had been sanitized. The institute had initially resisted the court’s suggestion to be open about last minute changes in the centres but agreed when the Bench said an unprecedented public health situation was at hand and the ICAI should be able to “respond to the changing scenarios”.
Mr. Srinivasan said a total 3.46 lakh students were taking the exams scheduled between July 29 and August 16. Of this, 2.89 lakh had opted in and only 52,000 had opted out.
The PIL was filed last week and the CA Board had sought time from the top court on Friday to file an affidavit in response. The petition had also demanded more exam centres.
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Announcing its decision, the ICAI said today that they will keep the ‘opt-out’ option for students unable to travel due to the COVID-19 situation. However, they will proceed with the CA exam starting from 29th July even if only one student shows up’.
Student choosing the opt-out scheme will be able to forward their candidature to the next exam cycle in November. Students will also be able carry forward their exam fees and exemptions as registered in the May cycle for November.
For those who opt-out, the July examination will be considered null or not counted.
The ICAI has been asked to issue a fresh guideline for its students including the suggestions given by the Supreme Court bench on the issue on Monday. The draft notification has to be filed before the Supreme Court before the next date of hearing on July 2.
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