The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave its approval to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to hold the CA exams 2021 starting July 5 with a modified opt-out option for students amid the pandemic.

The ICAI CA Intermediate, Final May 2021 exams were deferred due to the pandemic. The exams will now be held between July 5 and 20 from 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.

The court directed ICAI to provide an opt-out facility to even those candidates whose centre was changed at the last minute even if the changed centre is in the same city, reported Hindustan Times. In its earlier policy, ICAI was offering an opt-out option only to candidates if inter-city change of centres had taken place.

Moreover, candidates who have suffered personally or their family members are affected by Covid-19 can be certified by a medical practitioner and be allowed to opt-out and it should not be considered as an attempt, the bench of Justices AM Khanwilkara, Aniruddha Bose and Dinesh Maheshwari said, reported NDTV.

Candidates need not produce RT PCR report if they produce a certificate from a doctor on Covid-19, the bench said. ICAI had earlier insisted on an RT PCR report besides a doctor’s certificate.

A candidate will be allowed to opt-out if he/she contracts the virus during the exam and is unable to appear for other papers and it (the attempt) should not be treated as an attempt, the Court said.

Around 3.74 lakh students have registered for the CA examinations. Candidates are advised to keep track of updates on the official website