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The ICAI has said that the exams that were scheduled to be held in July-August will now be held along with the exams in the November 2020 exam cycle.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has informed the Supreme Court of its decision not to hold exams for the May 2020 exam cycle that were scheduled to be held in July-August "in the interest of the students" amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing the petition filed challenging the ICAI’s rule concerning the “opt-out” option for the May 2020 exam cycle.
The ICAI has said that the exams that were scheduled to be held in July-August will now be held along with the exams in the November 2020 exam cycle in the wake of the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In light of this decision, the petitioner sought for directions for the Institute to treat the deferred exams taken by students in November as having been appeared for the exams in July-August. For this, the Court asked the petitioner to make a representation before the ICAI and disposed of the matter.
In the previous hearing, the Institute had sought time from the Court to contact exam centres across the country to analyse the feasibility of holding the exams at all in this exam cycle owing to the constantly surging number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Subsequently, on July 3, the ICAI issued a notification declaring postponement of the exams till November citing the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision of the Institute was informed to the Apex Court today.
The ICAI made this announcement stating that in order to ensure the interest of its students and their well-being, the Institute has decided to cancel May 2020 Examinations and merge the May 2020 exam attempt with November 2020 Examinations.
All benefits already available to students, including fee paid and exemptions, will continue to be available.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had observed that the ICAI should consider permitting the students to opt-out of the exams till the last day, as the situation around COVID-19 is dynamic and not static. As such, the institute ought to be flexible and not rigid in the manner of conducting the exams, the Court had said.
This observation had come when the Court was hearing the plea filed by Anubha Sahai who had raised various concerns and grievances as regards the CA exams in light of the pandemic.
This petitioner was represented by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava and ICAI was represented by Senior Advocate Ramji Srinavasan instructed by Advocate Pramod Dayal.