Monday, October 3, 2022

ICAI Inform SC: There Are Operational Problems To Hold CA Exams Due To COVID-19, Seeks Time Till July 10 To Assess Ground Situation

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India on Thursday has informed the Supreme Court that there are operational problems regarding certain Centres due to spike of COVID cases in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Accordingly, Advocate Ramji Srinivasan appearing for ICAI sought time to assess the ground situation and inform the bench about its final decision after consulting the states on July 10.

The bench while granting the time sought reminded Advocate Ramji Srinivasan that the Court in the previous hearing had said that the ground situation is “dynamic” and not “static”.

The bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjeev Khanna was hearing a petition filed by the President of the “India Wide Parents Association”, Anubha Shrivastava Sahai seeking quashing of the notification that allowed the CA aspirants to “opt-out” of the CA exams this year due to COVID 19 which according to the petitioner is in violation of the fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner submitted that if the option was exercised then the underprivileged and unfortunate students who reside in red zones and containment zones will be losing out a year and those who are fortunate and have the means to access the exam centers living in big cities in green zones will have the benefit of attending the exams. This the petitioners have alleged to be an arbitrary and discriminatory move of the Institute.

The petitioners have urged the Court for a direction to provide more exam centres and free transport for those who do not reside in close proximity to the exam centre

In the previous hearing the bench had asked ICAI to consider the option for change of centre in case the area becomes a containment zone.

Shrinivasan had submitted that no disqualification will be attached if a student opts to take exam in November instead of July. They should practically be able to go ahead.

The bench had suggested to ICAI that a student who has been unable to appear for the exam will be considered as an “opt out case” even if they don’t choose the “opt out” option.

The bench had further directed ICAI to come out with a fresh notification while adjourning the matter till July 10.

-India Legal Bureau

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