The Supreme Court of India, today, heard a plea seeking postponement of the ICAI CA exams scheduled on July 5, 2021.
The top court is hearing a batch of pleas seeking different reliefs including an opt-out option for the candidates, postponement of the exam, and an increase in a number of centres this year.
The apex court has listed the matter tomorrow and said that it will take the note by ICAI on record and dispose the matter of accordingly.
It also suggested to relax the condition of the RT-PCR certificate and giving opt-out option on last-minute centre change, Live Law reported.
The plea filed by Child Right Activist Anbha Shrivastava Sahai was heard by a three-judge Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Aniruddha Bose on June 28th 2021 at 10:30 am.
Meanwhile, around 6,000 students in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanded the postponement of the Chartered Accountancy (CA) examinations scheduled to be conducted offline, from July 5. Students said they did not want the exams to be cancelled but postponed until they were vaccinated.
Students said, “We want to submit to the PM that we do not want any cancellation of exams but vaccination is something the PM himself has emphasised. CA students going to appear for these exams are in the 18-23 age group. It would be injustice towards these students as well as their family if they are pressurised to appear for the 15-day long physical exams without having been provided an opportunity to avail vaccination.”
On June 5, 2021, the ICAI announced the revised dates for the Chartered Accountants (CA) Intermediate (IPC), Intermediate, final and post-qualification course: Insurance and Risk Management (IRM) technical examination and international taxation – assessment test (INTT–AT).
The examinations were initially scheduled to be conducted from May 21 and May 22 but were postponed by ICAI in April due to the pandemic. Over three lakh students will appear for these exams.
What did happen in yesterday's session?
ICAI told the Supreme Court on Monday that it is the most conducive time to hold CA exams as the COVID-19 spread is now at a substantially low level, offering an opportune moment for chartered accountants to further their professional career. The CA examinations which are conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in May, were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are now scheduled to be held from July 5-20.
ICAI told the top court that as on date, the numbers of COVID-19 cases are comparatively low and thus it would be in the best interests of the candidates if the examinations are held as per the schedule and not cancelled or postponed.
The ICAI said the CA exams are normally scheduled to be held in May, but owing to the high number of cases at that time it postponed them, and after evaluating all factors, has now decided to hold the exams this month when the number of COVID-19 cases is comparatively low.
It said that the present COVID situation in the country is similar to when this court had allowed ICAI to hold examinations in November, 2020 and there is no reason to believe that it will not take adequate precautions. About the arrangements, it said that the average number of examinees in an examination room will be 12 and in any case not more than 50 percent of the capacity of the room.
It said there will be 10,820 exam rooms in 847 centres and the total number of examinees will be 3,74,230. It further added that of these 580 centres have less than 200 candidates, 208 centres have 201-250 candidates, 58 centres have 251-300 candidates and one centre has more than 500 candidates.
It said that candidates are eager to appear in the examination, as out of 3,74,230 candidates, as on June 27, more than 2, 82, 000 candidates have downloaded their admit cards. "It is understandable that some of the candidates would have inhibitions in appearing for the exams, but that cannot be allowed to jeopardize the aspirations of a majority of the candidates," it said.
(With inputs from agencies)