Supreme Court will hear a seeking a stay on the ‘opt-out’ scheme, calling it a 'violation of fundamental rights of students,' for about 4.67 lakh CA aspirants for examination to be conducted between July 29 and August 16 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The PIL in Supreme Court also sought more examination centres for the conduct of July CA Exam 2020.
To be noted, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, ICAI had given its candidates the option to opt-out of exams on June 15, 2020. The candidates who had applied for May exams could fill the application until June 27, 2020.
The PIL, 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.
Student who choose opt-out will be deprived of the May 2020 attempt, as compared to other group of students who go in for ‘opt-in’ option. “Hence, the petitioner is praying this court to forthwith quash and set aside the aforesaid Important Announcement dated June 15,” it said.
The petition asked the court to squash the notice released by ICAI on June 15 ask the examination body to increase the number of centres so that all students could attempt the exams in one go. It demands at least one centre per district across India.