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The aspirants who opt out will have to reappear for all the group exams in the next cycle, the Supreme Court said, upholding the ICAI’s rule.

Students with facemaks writing examImage for representation- File photo/PTI
news CA exams Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 17:06

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 30, directed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to provide an ‘opt-out’ option to candidates appearing for the upcoming Chartered Accountancy (CA) exams, if the candidate or their family members have COVID-19 and are therefore unable to attend. The CA exams are scheduled to be held from July 5. The court also said that RT-PCR negative reports shall not be insisted upon for availing the ‘opt-out’ option, and that a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner should suffice.

The certificate, however, should have the registered number of the medical practitioner. It may be issued by a District Medical and Health Officer, Primary Healthcare Centres, Government General Hospitals, private hospitals and registered medical practitioners. Students from curfew and containment zones, and those for whom travel is difficult, can also choose to write the exam in the next cycle. 

With the ‘opt-out’ option, however, candidates must re-appear for all the group papers in the cycle, as per the ICAI’s rule which the Supreme Court upheld. “We will not tweak with the rules. You have to appear for the whole group if you miss a paper. If you take a chance, then you take a chance,” Bar&Bench quoted the Supreme Court Bench as saying. The plea, filed by child rights’ activist Anubha Shrivatsava Sahai, was heard by the bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose.

The ICAI had suggested that candidates who changed their centre to another location within the same city should not be allowed to opt out of the exam. However, the court rejected the suggestion. “In case of last minute change of examination centres, we disapprove the suggestion of ICAI that if it is in the same city, the candidate will not be allowed to opt out. We direct that candidates should be allowed to opt out and it will not be treated as an attempt. Such candidates can appear in a backup exam to be held when the situation is conducive,” the court said, as quoted by LiveLaw.

Recently, over 6,000 Chartered Accountancy aspirants wrote to Chief Justice NV Ramana,  seeking the court to direct the ICAI to provide an ‘opt-out’ option to aspirants who would be unable to appear for the 15-day long examination, due to COVID-19. 

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