The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is all set to conduct the December 2021 CA Exams for Final, Intermediate, and Foundation courses from 5th December 2021. However, a plea was filed in the Supreme Court seeking opt out option for symptomatic students without the compulsion of an RT-PCR test. On Monday, 29th November 2021, Supreme Court dismissed the plea and also said that the concerned authorities are free to make amendments later on.
Who Filed the Plea? What are the Details?
The plea was filed by Sanjeev K Arora, a candidate of the CA Exam, through Advocate on Record Nupur Kumar. The plea requests the Supreme Court to direct ICAI to consider medical certificates from candidates instead of insisting on an RT-PCR.
"Insistence on RTPCR report (within 72 hours) for the examination scheduled to be held from 05.12.2021 to 19.12.2021, is impracticable and unfeasible for students preparing to write the exams as the examination cycle lasts for 15 days and not a single day stint and it is impracticable to get RTPCR report after every 2nd exam" states the Application.
The plea further said that the December 2021 CA Exam would be the last attempt for candidates appearing under the Old course.
Advocate Nupur Kumar further submitted that as per the guidelines, the examination centers were required to have a designated isolation room for isolating any person who is found symptomatic at the time of screening or during examination, till such time medical advice may be sought.
The application also stated that especially when the CA Final Old Course Students would be writing their last attempt, the latest notification of the ICAI does not answer certain queries like:
- Specify any 'Opt-out' scheme in respect of candidates who suffer from fever or any COVID-19 related symptoms
- Provide for any alternative arrangements in respect of such candidates who are willing to write the exam despite the fever,
- SOP in cases of Non- Covid related fever
SC's Reply to the Plea
Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar refused to entertain an application raising issues about a notification by the ICAI regarding CA exams scheduled next month, saying "we are not here to regulate everything. We decline to entertain this application. It will be open to the applicant to invite the attention of the competent authority to make necessary amendments, if and when necessary."
"This has to stop now, we can't encourage this. You can't come by way of a MA & open the entire proceedings," remarked Justice AM Khanwilkar, rejecting the plea.