CA Exam July 2020: PIL filed in Supreme Court seeking a stay on opt-out scheme

CA Exam : Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court (SC) of India seeking a stay on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) opt-out scheme for CA Course July 2020 exams. ICAI on 15th June 2020 had given its candidates the option to opt-out of exams scheduled in July / August 2020. Candidates who had applied for the CA May exams could fill the application to OPT OUT until 27th June 2020.

The PIL filed in the apex court seeking a stay on this opt-out scheme called it a violation of the fundamental rights of students. The petition also sought more examination centres for the conducting the CA Exam July 2020. Reportedly 4.67 lakh candidates are appearing for the CA exams this year.

The ICAI had scheduled the exams to be conducted between 29th July 2020 to 16th August 2020. The opt-out scheme was provided by ICAI after taking into account the several student protests in the country mentioning their inability to travel towards the exam centres. The opt-out scheme provided such students with the opportunity to not appear in the July exams and appear for the same in November. The institute also said that the attempt of the students who applied for the CA May 2020 attempt but choosing to opt-out will not be counted.

The PIL has been filed by Alok Srivastava on behalf of India Wide Parents Association. The apex court has scheduled the hearing in the coming days. The petition also raises questions for candidates hailing from remote areas of the country or those living in containment zones of the country.

It claims that this option is discriminatory towards such candidates as they are slated to lose one precious ‘examination attempt’, if they go for the ‘opt-out’ option as opposed to the ‘privileged’ candidate in big cities or green zones who will not face any problem in appearing for the exam in the present COVID-19 pandemic situation.

The petition has asked the Supreme Court to squash the 15th June notice by ICAI and also demanding the examination body for an increase in the number of exam centres so that all students all across the country can attempt the exams in one go. The PIL demands at least one centre per district all over India. Presently, ICAI has designated about 259 examination centres in India and five centres overseas for the CA July 2020 exams.

Published by Sneha Vishwakarma

Advocate, Bombay High court.

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