CA exams 2020: ICAI wants more time to decide if exams can be held from July 29

BCCL

  • The Supreme Court on Thursday (July 2) adjourned the hearing for CA examination in July and the decision on the opt-out scenario to next week.
  • This was after the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) appealed to the apex court to allow more time to connect with the exam centres and authorities so as to assess the COVID situation and understand if it's feasible to conduct exams from July 29 onwards.
  • As of now, if a student decides to opt out, this attempt (July examination) will not be counted.
The Supreme Court on Thursday (July 2) adjourned the hearing for Chartered Accountants’ examination in July and the decision on the opt-out scenario to next week.

This was after the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) appealed to the apex court to allow more time to connect with the exam centres and authorities so as to assess the COVID situation and understand if it's feasible to conduct exams from July 29 onwards.

The apex court had earlier directed the institute to come up with fresh guidelines — that include the suggestion by the bench — and appear for the hearing on July 2, 2020. The Supreme Court had said that those who were preparing to appear for the July examination but are unable to take the exam should be eligible for the ‘opt-out’ case.
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“The ICAI counsel may take instructions and file the modified draft notification setting out the changes”, the bench said on June 29.

The bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said this during the hearing of a petition filed by the president of India Wide Parents Association Anubha Shrivastava Sahai. The petition sought orders to stay the scheme — which allows those students who applied for the July exam to opt out and appear in the November examination.

The petition also appealed to the court for more examination centers. "There are also a limited number of exam centres. Even ICAI says only 232 centres are there. Many students in Bihar have opted for the 15-day long exam in Kolkata which is under lockdown,” Advocate Alok Srivastava said during the previous hearing.
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Earlier, the exams were scheduled from July 29 and the decision was made for the students who have already submitted the online application for the exams. “The students shall be allowed to opt-out and carry forward their candidature to next examination i.e. November, 2020 examination cycle,” the official notification said.


“The situation is continuously changing. Even if a candidate has not chosen an opt-out option, and they suddenly come under a containment zone, what will you do? You should treat candidates who don’t appear as opt-out cases,” the court said.

What could happen in the ‘opt-out’ scenario

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For those who opt-out, the institute said that the examination fee and other expenditure shall automatically be shifted to the next exam cycle in November 2020. However, these students will be required to apply afresh for the exams in November.

In that case, this attempt (July examination) will not be counted — the institute decided after multiple requests from students appealed to defer the exams due to the pandemic. As many as 3.46 lakh students are supposed to appear for the July examination.

On the other hand, the students who choose to appear in the exam in July will have to undergo mandatory thermal scanning. As per the guidelines by the government, the institute will take social distancing measures, hand sanitisation and mandatory wearing of masks.
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