Provide writers for the visually challenged,HC tells ICAI

Court asked ICAI to provide guidelines for the scribes and writers engaged by the candidates privately.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: November 19, 2013 2:59 am

Pulling up the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAI) for failing to provide adequate facilities for visually impaired CA candidates,the Delhi High Court on Monday directed the educational body to form a panel of scribes and writers to help candidates give exams. The court asked ICAI to provide guidelines for the scribes and writers engaged by the candidates privately.

The court of Justice V K Jain issued the directions on a plea filed by a differently abled candidate,who was denied permission to engage a writer for the CA examinations held in March this year. The student had first applied to the ICAI,asking for a writer to be engaged to write answers for her,but the request had been rejected. She had then requested to be allowed to engage more than one writer,as she could not find any person to write all examinations. However,the request was once again rejected. The student had then approached the High Court to challenge guidelines laid down by the ICAI.

The institute conducts the Chartered Accountancy exam in 377 centres spread over 96 cities in the country and in four cities outside India. It had claimed that it could not engage a panel of writers as it did not have any campus.

In his judgment issued on Monday,Justice VK Jain noted that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had issued a memorandum regarding provision of assistance to differently abled candidates earlier this year,and that Delhi University and JNU had followed a system to maintain a panel of scribes since 2011. Keeping in mind the issues pointed out by the ICAI,the court has directed the institute to either prepare a panel of scribes or engage the writers empanelled by other universities and institutions in the cities where the examination is held.

“Respondent no.1 shall prepare,at least in major cities,its own panel of scribes or writers,to be provided to the differently abled persons on receipt of a written request from them. For this purpose,ICAI may either itself empanel appropriate persons to function as scribes or writers or it may adopt the panel of scribes or writers,if any,prepared by other institutions,” the court held.

The court also directed ICAI to prepare a schedule for payment to the writers for their services on similar lines as JNU and DU.

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