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ICAI to SC: Have statutory duty to conduct the CA exam in July

Legal Correspondent New Delhi | Updated on June 28, 2021

The court has adjourned the case to June 29

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) told the Supreme Court on Monday that it has a statutory duty to conduct the Chartered Accountants (CA) exam in July for the benefit of around 3.74 lakh candidates.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar, senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan, for ICAI, said opt-out option is available for candidates or whose families have tested Covid-19 positive.

“The option can be exercised on production of Covid-19 positive RT-PCR report. Such examinee would be shifted to November, 2021 examination cycle,” a brief note submitted by ICAI in court said.

Also read: ICAI sets up panel to revamp curriculum, training modules

The court has adjourned the case to June 29. The exam is scheduled on July 5.

The Bench was hearing pleas to cancel the CA exam due to the pandemic, like the CBSE exams.

“The Chartered Accountants exams are professional examinations and ought not to be equated with CBSE or other State Board examinations for Classes 10 or 12. It is in the interest of the candidates aspiring to become Chartered Accountants, start their professional lives and earn livelihoods, that the examinations be held,” the ICAI said.

July, an apt time

ICAI said July was the apt time to conduct the exam with all safety protocols in place, considering the lull in Covid cases. The third wave may hit in September or October.

“The Covid-19 spread is now at a substantially low level, therefore this is the opportune moment to offer the aspiring Chartered Accountants to further their professional careers. As on date, the number 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 argued.

The Institute said the Supreme Court itself had in the past allowed exams to be held whenever the risk had been minimum.

“The court has been pleased to allow Class 12 exams for Kerala and Bihar, which were held in April, 2021 and February, 2021,” the note reasoned.

ICAI said the candidates were eager to take the exams. “Out of 3,74,230 candidates, as on June 27, more than 2,82,000 candidates have downloaded their admit cards, thus showing their eagerness to appear in the examinations,” it said.

The decision to have the exams was taken after meticulous planning. Average number of examinees in an examination room is 12. ICAI questioned the bonafide of the petitions seeking cancellation or postponement of the exams at this last minute.

Published on June 28, 2021

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