ICAI CA exam 2020: Supreme Court is hearing an urgent plea seeking for a stay order on the body's 'opt-Out' scheme and better precautions from COVID for CA students scheduled to appear for May cycle exam between July 29 and August 16. The PIL in Supreme Court also sought more examination centres for the conduct of July CA Exam 2020.
A three-judge virtual Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar is examining the petition filed by the India Wide Parents Association. The scheme allows students to opt out of the exam. Their exam would be deemed to be cancelled. They would lose their chance.
Meanwhile, The ICAI had on Friday sought time from the apex court to file an affidavit in response to the PIL.
The petition said the scheme discriminates against students living in remote areas or containment zones as due to the restrictions, they would be forced to opt out unlike their counterparts living in urban areas.
Calling 'opt-Out' scheme as a 'violation of fundamental rights of students, the plea filed by Alakh Alok Srivastava on behalf of ‘India Wide Parents Association’, said that ICAI announced it will conduct the May 2020 cycle Chartered Accountants examination between July 29 to August 16.
“Now it has notified a highly discriminatory and arbitrary ‘opt-out’ option...,” adding the ICAI has notified that for the students who choose this option, their attempt (May 2020) will be treated as cancelled or not counted.
“The ‘opt-out’ option discriminates between those underprivileged group of CA students/ aspirants, who are living in remote areas of the country or living in the containment zones and thus are slated to lose one precious ‘examination attempt’ by choosing ‘opt-out’ option amidst ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as compared to that privileged group of students/ aspirants, who are living in big cities/ green zones and thus they have no problem in appearing in the said examination,” it said.
In a public statement, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India's spokesperson stated that they are committed to conduction the July 29, 2020 examinations even if only one student shows up.
With this 'opt-out option', students will be able to carry forward their exam candidature to the upcoming November 2020 examination cycle. Thanks to this opt-out option, all students will be able to carry forward their examination fees and exemptions that they had registered for the July 29, 2020 exams. For all those who choose to opt-out, their July exams will be considered as cancelled / not counted.