Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

SC directs ICAI to provide 'opt-out' option to COVID affected CA candidates

ANI | Updated: Jun 30, 2021 13:53 IST

New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to provide an "opt-out" option to a candidate in the CA exams, scheduled to begin from July 5, who are not able to prepare for exams either due to COVID-19 suffered by themselves or their family members in recent past.
A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said only a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner will be required for the opt-out option and candidates need not produce an RT-PCR report if a report produced by the medical practitioner is placed with the application for opting out.
"Opt-out facility for candidates who have suffered COVID personally or any of his family members, so certified by a registered medical practitioner, as a result of which he is unable to appear for the exam, or disabled from preparing for the exam, is entitled to exercise the option of opting out. It will not be considered as an attempt. Such candidate will be permitted to appear for the next examination for both old and new syllabus," the court stated in its order.

"We make it clear that the candidate need not produce RT-PCR report if a medical certificate issued by registered medical practitioners for his family members is produced along with a request for opting out", the Bench added.
The ICAI's policy of not giving an opt-out option if the change of exam centre is within the same city was disapproved by the Court saying that an opt-out option should be given even if the change of exam centre is within the city.
The Court further directed the ICAI to conduct the CA exam and arrange the logistics in strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedure notified by the competent authority, including the Disaster Management Authority.
The court's direction came on a plea for granting opt-out for students who won't be able to appear for the exam on account of Covid-19 restrictions.
The plea has also sought more exam centres for CA exams so as to ensure that at least one examination centre is kept in every District of India and not more than 50 students are allotted one centre. It also asked for the postponement of the exam if adherence to COVID protocols is not possible. (ANI)