A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking more centres and a stay on the ‘opt-out’ scheme for about 4.67 lakh CA aspirants for examination to be conducted between July 29 and August 16 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The petition, which is scheduled to come up for hearing in the coming days, claimed that the the notification issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on June 15 violates the fundamental rights of the students.

The PIL, filed by Alakh Alok Srivastava on behalf of ‘India Wide Parents Association’, said that ICAI announced it will conduct the May 2020 cycle Chartered Accountants examination between July 29 to August 16. 

“Now it has notified a highly discriminatory and arbitrary ‘opt-out’ option…,” adding the ICAI has notified that for the students who choose this option, their attempt (May 2020) will be treated as cancelled or not counted.

“The ‘opt-out’ option discriminates between those underprivilieged group of CA students/ aspirants, who are living in remote areas of the country or living in the containment zones and thus are slated to loose one precious ‘examination attempt’ by choosing ‘opt-out’ option amidst ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as compared to that privileged group of students/ aspirants, who are living in big cities/ green zones and thus they have no problem in appearing in the said examination,” it said.

Student who choose opt-out will be deprived of the May 2020 attempt, as compared to other group of students who go in for ‘opt-in’ option. 

“Hence, the petitioner is praying this court to forthwith quash and set aside the aforesaid Important Announcement dated June 15,” it said.

It further sought an increase in the number of examination centres so as to ensure that at least one examination centre is kept in every district of India.

It said that there are about 4.67 lakh aspirants, who are scheduled to appear in the examinations, at about 259 examination centres in India and five centres overseas.

News Source: Livemint


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