In a major relief to students appearing for Chartered Accountants (CA) examinations scheduled to be conducted offline from July 5 to 20, 2021, the Supreme Court (SC) of India on Wednesday directed relaxations wherein students who have tested positive for Covid-19 can opt-out and appear for backup exams later. The SC direction has relieved over 3 lakh students who were fearful of appearing for CA exams via offline mode amidst Covid-19 risks and lockdown restrictions.
On Wednesday, the SC after hearing concerns of students put forward by Advocate Anubha Sahai directed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) stating students who have tested positive for Covid-19 or, whose family members have tested positive in the recent past and, are therefore unable to appear or prepare for the exam can exercise the option of opting out. These students will be permitted to appear for the follow up (back up) exam to be conducted later subject to prevailing conducive situation at the relevant time.
Also, as per SC direction, these students do not need to produce a RT-PCR test report but need to provide a medical certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner. The SC said, "Candidate need not produce RT-PCR test report if medical certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner for himself or herself or family member is presented alongwith the request for opting-out."
The SC further said, "If any candidate is attempting examination and in the midst of that suffers from Covid-19 ailment, as a result of which, is unable to appear for the remaining subjects, the candidate will be entitled to opt-out and appear later."
In addition, students who are affected by lockdown, travel restrictions or containment zone restrictions in their respective areas during the examination period can also go for the opt-out option and appear for backup exams to be conducted by ICAI in due course.
Advocate Anubha Sahai said, "The SC direction has come as a major relief as students who are affected by Covid-19 or whose family members have tested positive can go for the opt-out option and appear for exams later. Also, students facing lockdown restrictions in various states, cities, rural districts and containment zones can appear for exams later."
Recently, the FPJ had reported that 6,000 students had written a letter to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi demanding postponement of CA exams. Sahai added, "It is the concerns raised by students and pressure created by the media that has led to the SC direction." The ICAI has been directed by the SC to follow all standard operating procedures (SOPs) notified by the competent authorities.