SC asks ICAI to rework exam opt-out option

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to rework its opt-out option for exams in a way that is flexible and not rigid given the Covid-19 pandemic.The exams are scheduled to be held between July 29 and August 16.

A three-judge bench led by Justice A M Khanwilkar asked the ICAI to bring out a fresh notification that will allow a student to opt out of the tests at any time, even once the tests start.As per the existing notification, the last date for a student to exercise this option is June 30. But with the court order, the deadline will stand revised.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the India- Wide Parents Association that challenged the opt-out scheme and sought more centres for CA exam.

“There can be a situation where a student opted for a centre but that becomes a containment zone. Can the student opt for a last-minute change of centre?” asked the bench, suggesting the ICAI redo its notification and slated the hearing for July 2.

ICAI’s counsel argued that the petitioner’s concern about the opt-out option was unfounded. He said the institute was bound by the Chartered Accountants Act.

“The change of centre should not be frozen but kept open for all till the end. You need to be flexible, you cannot be rigid,” the bench told the counsel.

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