The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that it cannot hold the upcoming CA exam online as suggested by some of the candidates, in view of COVID-19, as it tests the analytical capabilities of the examinees.The ICAI said its 3-hour exam is of a different pattern altogether, which have descriptive answers and not tick marks.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna asked the ICAI to publish on its website the steps taken for students welfare with regard to COVID-19 and disposed of the petition seeking a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the examinees in the upcoming CA exams. The Chartered Accountant exams are scheduled to be held on November 21 to December 14.
During the hearing, senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan, appearing for the ICAI, said that they don’t have any isolation room as examination centres and don’t have the facilities for doctors.He further said that transport and accommodation was also sought by the petitioner but that is not possible.He submitted that ICAI may request Ministry of Home Affairs to allow e-admit cards to book hotels. The bench said that it is a state specific issue as earlier when such suggestions were made, the state governments have agreed to do so.The bench further told that the exams have been handled well in the past and ICAI has been asked to put all the information on the grievances raised by the petitioners on the website. The petitioners have contended that despite less than a month left for the commencement of the examination, no steps have been taken by the authorities with respect to the safety of examinees.
The petitioners have also claimed that ICAI has not issued any safety guidelines on how the examinations will be held amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The plea alleged that the examination will be in violation of central government guidelines which prohibits congregations of more than 100 persons at an academic institution.