The top court then asked the applicants to make a representation on the issue to the institute.
A bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and comprising Justices Hrishikesh Roy and C.T. Ravikumar was hearing an application seeking direction to the ICAI to conduct a backup examination for opt-out candidates. The ICAI counsel told the bench that an appropriate decision will be taken on the representation within two weeks and added that there will be no loss of opportunity to candidates who had opted out.
The counsel also submitted that the candidates will get the benefit of the same old syllabus.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the applicants, cited the June 30 order about backup examination and added those who had opted-out would lose one attempt. He contended that ICAI should be directed to hold a backup examination instead of telling candidates that they should appear in the regular exam cycle. At this, the ICAI counsel replied that there will be no loss of opportunity to people who had opted out.
The top court, in its June 30 order, had said a candidate shall be entitled to exercise the option of opting out of the exam if he or she or any family member has suffered Covid-19 in the recent past and the fact is certified by a registered medical practitioner.
It had then said that this would not be considered as an attempt in the examination and the candidate will be permitted to appear in the backup examination, to be conducted for the old as well as the new syllabus.
During the hearing on Thursday, the bench queried the ICAI's counsel if these candidates could appear in the November examination, and also whether it was possible to conduct one more examination under the old syllabus.
The ICAI counsel reiterated no candidate will lose his or her opportunity. Permitting the applicants to make representation to the ICAI, the bench told Bhushan: "You make representation. The institute is very open to all suggestions."