ICAI CA Exam 2021 hearing: Supreme Court adjourns matter to June 29

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The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to respond by Tuesday on suggestions made by petitioners in three separate writ petitions demanding moderation in the Standard Operation Procedure issued for the July 5 examination.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar decided to take up the matter on Tuesday as ICAI informed the Court about a note it had circulated expressing its stand on the separate petitions filed by Satya Narain Perumal, Anubha Shrivastava Sahai and third by a group of CA aspirants.

For Perumal, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora appeared and submitted that they had not received the note supplied by ICAI. The bench too did not have an opportunity to see the note. Arora said that she would like ICAI to take instructions on change of examination centres ahead of the examination date on July 5. She informed the Court that the ICAI had unilaterally changed the centres and the petitioner seeks options within the examination centres.

Another petition talked about an “opt out” scheme by which students should be allowed to opt out of giving the examination either before or during the exam considering the pandemic situation. The plea has also sought modification in SOP by which not more than 50 candidates are allotted to an examination centre.

The third petition sought an additional attempt for those who fail to appear for the July cycle of examination.

Senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan informed the Court that all concerns have been taken care of by his note. The bench asked Srinivas to take instructions on the petitioner’s suggestions and inform the Court by Tuesday.

ICAI informed the Court that out of 3.74 lakh candidates appearing for the exam, 2.82 lakh have downloaded the admit card and are willing to give the examination.

Further it said that COVID-19 cases are declining and this is the most “conducive” time for holding the test on the dates fixed by the ICAI. The ICAI note further assured the Court that all precautions as per COVID-19 protocol will be carried out and said that under these circumstances, the top court had allowed ICAI to conduct the November 2020 cycle of examinations by an order passed on November 4, 2020.

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