Giving a breather to lakhs of CA students, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Friday cancelled Chartered Accountancy examinations scheduled for July. The institute said the exams would now be merged with November exams. "On a review of the developments and in order to ensure the interest of its students and their wellbeing, the institute has decided to cancel May 2020 examinations and merge the May 2020 attempt with November 2020 examinations with due carry over of all benefits already available to students including fee paid and exemptions," the ICAI said in a notification late Friday. 

"The students who have made application for May 2020 examination will have an option to change the group of their appearance and centre of examinations at the time of making a fresh application for November 2020 examinations, which, subject to conditions prevailing at relevant time, will start from 1st November, 2020. It is again clarified in this schema, the students will be free to exercise the options afresh for the groups that they intent to appear in the November 2020 examinations," the institute said.

Expressing contentment on ICAI's decision, petitioner Anubha Shrivastava Sahai said she was happy for the students. I thank honorable Supreme Court for taking up this issue. I thank ICAI, MHA, PMO and all the authorities for taking this call and helping lakhs of students," she told India TV. Shrivastava was represented by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava before the top court.

Earlier on Thursday, the ICAI had informed the Supreme Court that it would assess the feasibility of conducting CA exams scheduled between July 29 and August 16 in view of rising coronavirus cases and consult state and exam centres on this issue. The institute's counsel had sought time from the bench. The court was hearing through video conferencing a plea which challenged the 'opt-out' option provided by the ICAI to the candidates alleging that it "arbitrarily" discriminates between the aspirants in the May cycle of CA exams. 

On June 29, the apex court had asked the ICAI should be flexible in conducting exams amid coronavirus pandemic and take care of candidates' concerns. It had suggested that option for change in examination centre should be made available to the candidates till the last week before the scheduled exams considering the fact that an area may become a containment zone due to the coronavirus situation.
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