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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Give opt-out facility to all candidates who can’t make it to CA exam: SC

A bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna observed that the ICAI should be flexible in conducting exams given the prevailing situation.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: July 1, 2020 1:16:59 pm
Supreme Court, Suryaprakash V Raju, Additional Solicitor General, Gujarat news, Indian express news “Suppose a candidate has not chosen the opt-out option but suddenly comes under a containment zone. What will you do? You should treat candidates who do not appear as opt-out cases,” the bench said.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to extend its ‘opt-out’ facility for candidates who are unable to attend the July 29-August 16 Chartered Accountancy (CA) exams due to the pandemic to all candidates who cannot make it, irrespective of whether they opted to remain out or not.

A bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna observed that the ICAI should be flexible in conducting exams given the prevailing situation.

“Suppose a candidate has not chosen the opt-out option but suddenly comes under a containment zone. What will you do? You should treat candidates who do not appear as opt-out cases,” the bench said.

The bench also advised ICAI to keep open the option for change in examination until the last week and not to freeze it, as the situation is constantly evolving.

Counsel for the petitioner, advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, urged the court to direct that there should be one centre per district.

But the bench pointed out that the suggestion is being disputed by ICAI. If there is low requirement, why should there be a centre, the court added.

The ICAI’s counsel submitted that there are 567 test centres identified and sanitised properly, and the same cannot be changed now. He said that as per standard operating procedure, the authorities will shift the examination centre if the area is declared a containment zone. He pointed out that out of around 3.46 lakh registered aspirants, only 53,000 have taken the ‘opt-out’ option.

But the court reiterated that there should be option for change in centre in case the area becomes a containment zone.

The court will now hear the matter on July 2.

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