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June 30, 2021

CA Exams 2021: No RT-PCR Required for Opting Out of the July 21 CA Exams

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Legal Court Judgement

CA Exams 2021: No RT-PCR Required for Opting Out of the July 21 CA Exams

A Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose directed ICAI to give the opt out option to all candidates who are facing any COVID-related difficulty, purely on the basis of a medical certificate. Thus, no RT-PCR Report shall be required for availing the opt out facility. The court, in its order stated ‘We make it clear that the candidate need not produce RTPCR report if medical certificate issued by registered medical practitioners for his family.’

Moreover, in their note to the Supreme Court yesterday (29th June 2021), ICAI stated that no opt out option shall be given to candidates whose exam center has been changed in the same city. In this regard, the court stated “In case of last minute change of examination centres, we disapprove the suggestion of ICAI that if it is in the same city, the candidate will not be allowed to opt out. We direct that candidate should be allowed to opt out and it will not be treated us an attempt. Such candidate can appear in backup exam to be held when situation is conducive”.

Order of the Court In our opinion, the scheme provided by ICAI is not enough. Instead, it needs to be expanded in the following terms – A candidate who has suffered Covid personally or any of his family members, so certified by a registered medical practitioner, as a result of which he is unable to appear for exam, or disabled from preparing for the exam, is entitled to exercise the option of opting out. It will not be considered as an attempt. Such candidate will be permitted to appear for the next examination for both old and new syllabus.

We make it clear that a candidate need not produce RTPCR report if medical certificate issued by registered medical practitioners for his family members is produced along with request for opting out.

As regards candidates affected by lockdown during the relevant period of exam, we are informed that the scheme itself provides that such candidate will be allowed to opt-out and will not be treated as an attempt and such candidate will be allowed to appear in the next examination. As regards the logistical arrangements, both infrastructural and human resources-wise, the ICAI shall ensure that there is strict adherence to the SOP notified by the competent authority, including the Disaster Management Authority.

It is also clarified if any candidate who is attempting exam gets COVID during exam, he will be allowed to opt out and it will not be treated as an attempt. They can give the exam in the next November cycle. He may be permitted to appear in backup exams as per the rules.

In case of last minute change of examination centres, we disapprove the suggestion of ICAI that if it’s in the same city, the candidate will not be allowed to opt out. We direct that candidate should be allowed to opt out and it will not be treated us an attempt. Such candidate can appear in backup when situation is conducive.

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