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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has issued a press release stating that the Hon'ble Supreme Court has dismissed writ petitions regarding examination centers under containment zones allotted to CA Students by ICAI. Moreover, guidelines issued by ICAI and the SOPs evolved by the Government of India for holding examinations, etc. will be observed in all respects. Read the official press release below:

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
4th November, 2020

PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENT

Some candidates and others had filed Writ Petition (C) No.1193/2020 before the Hon'ble Supreme Court raising certain concerns with respect to the November 2020 CA Examinations. The said concerns were examined by ICAI and the Hon'ble Supreme Court was informed about each of them. The Hon'ble Supreme Court was satisfied that the concerns of the petitioners were either unfounded or were suitably addressed by ICAI, and as such WP (C) No.1193/2020 was disposed of vide Order dated 04.11.2020. Accordingly, this Press Release / Announcement is being issued to assuage any concerns of the candidates and to assure them that the November 2020 CA Examinations will be held as scheduled in a safe atmosphere.

The alleged concerns raised in the Writ Petition were to the effect that (1) certain examination centres were falling in the containment zones or were declared as a covid-care facility; (2) isolation rooms be provided at the examination centres, in case a candidate starts showingcovid symptoms; (3) extra time for writing the examination be provided; and (4) e-admit cards be treated as e-passes for free movement of the candidates.

During the course of hearing, ICAI informed the Hon'ble Court that it had verified the position from the concerned examination centres and was informed by the said examination centres that they are not falling in any containment zones. The Hon'ble Court was also informed that clarification had been obtained from the concerned examination centres and none of them were declared as covid-care facilities. As regards request for isolation rooms, the Hon'ble Court was informed that this is neither possible nor desirable in larger interest of other candidates, staff etc. to allow persons showing covid symptoms to enter the examination centres. Regarding extra time to be provided for writing examination, it was clarified that it being a professional examination, no extra time should be provided as the question papers are set as per the time required to answer the same. As regards the demand of the petitioners to treat e-admit cards as e-passes is concerned, it was informed that this issue is within the domain of the MHA, Govt. of India and that the Institute will make an endeavor to persuade MHA to agree for treating e-admit cards as e-passes for free movement of the candidates.

ICAI has informed the Court that online examinations are not possible as the subjects are descriptive in nature. The Hon’ble Supreme Court was also informed that ICAI has already opened more than 600 centres in 200 new cities with standby buffer centres in case of emergency to accommodate candidates in unforeseen situations. The Court was further informed that the last attempt for candidates in the old syllabus has already been extended till May, 2021 cycle as per announcement dated 13.10.2020.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court was satisfied with the aforesaid clarifications and as such disposed of the Writ Petition.

This press release / announcement is being issued in compliance with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme court on 04.11.2020 in the aforesaid writ petition to clarify the position to all candidates and to allay their apprehensions.ICAI is committed to conduct the examinations in a safe and secure environment by observing necessary guidelines issued by the Govt. like maintaining social distance between candidates, sanitization of the premises, checking the temperature of the candidates. It had issued detailed instructions to all examination centres, exam superintendents and the examinees which are in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Government of India. (https://www.icai.org/resource/61369guidelines-nov2020exams.pdf).

Therefore, the apprehensions expressed in the Writ Petition are without any basis, in as much as the Guidelines issued by ICAI and the SOPs evolved by the Government of India for holding examinations, etc. will be observed in all respects.

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