The Delhi High Court rejected a plea to reschedule the CA (Chartered Accountant) exams that are scheduled to be conducted in the months of May and June.

27 candidates of CA exam had filed the writ petition, seeking rescheduling of the CA Intermediate and Final Examinations to the second week of June 2024.

A Single Bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar said, “The plea of violation of Article 21 is based on the prediction, of the petitioners, that the entire nation is bound to be in a state of turmoil during elections. There is no basis for this presumption. We are headed for elections, not civil war."

The Bench noted that the mere fact that certain individual candidates may face a hardship in undertaking it cannot constitute the basis to derail the entire CA Intermediate, or Final, examination, which presently is to be undertaken by as many as 4,36,246 candidates.

“Indeed, this Court is surprised that such a request has even been made”, it added.

Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava appeared on behalf of the petitioners while Senior Advocate Ramji Srinivasan appeared on behalf of the respondent.

In this case, the CA candidates prayed for the rescheduling of examinations and alternatively, prayed that, if owing to circumstances, beyond the control of any of the students, she, or he, is unable to appear in a particular paper, said student must not be called upon to undertake all the papers once again and should be permitted only to repeat the paper in which she, or he, was unable to appear.

Admittedly, such prayer by the petitioners was in the teeth of the rules applicable to the CA Intermediate and Final Examinations, which require a student, who is unable to appear in any particular paper of the said examination to repeat the entire examination. The prayers made in the petition were essentially predicated on the forthcoming Lok Sabha General Elections scheduled to be held in April, May and June months.

The High Court in view of the prayers said, “Ubi jus, goes the adage, ibi remedium. A remedy can only follow a right. The hope that the law can be a panacea for every difficulty faced by every citizen in this country, though a cherished ideal, must remain, at the end of the day, Utopian. … None of the factors cited by Mr. Srivastava can constitute the basis for this Court to direct holding of the CA Intermediate and Final Examinations on any date other than the dates presently scheduled in that regard.”

The Court further took note of the fact that the elections are to be held on May 7 and 13, 2024 and there is no examination scheduled for May 6, 7, 12, and 13, 2024. It added that none of the other dates, for which the examinations are scheduled, conflict in any way, or are even proximate, to the dates on which the elections are to be held.

“The respondent has, therefore, been proactive and ensured that the right of the candidates, who are to undertake the examinations, to cast their votes, is not affected by conducting of the examinations. The scheduling of the examination has been so done as to ensure that an individual candidate is able, should she so desire, to cast her vote and undertake the examination. No more can be expected of the respondent. It is for the individual candidates now to work out their schedules, and adjust their itineraries accordingly”, it remarked.

The Court observed that the schedule of the CA examinations cannot be adjusted to suit the choices and predilections of individual candidates.

“There is obviously no similarity between the present case and the situation which arose during the period of COVID-19. No detailed discussion is required in that regard. The Lok Sabha elections which are to be scheduled in April and May 2024, cannot even remotely be likened to the situation in which the country found itself during the COVID 19 pandemic”, it also noted.

The Court remarked that we are headed for elections, not civil war and it is only in the rarest of rare circumstances that a court can interfere with the schedules fixed for conducting examinations held on a national level.

“The conducting of the General Lok Sabha elections can hardly constitute a justifiable ground to seek such a relief”, it concluded.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the petition.

Cause Title- Harish Chandar T and Others v. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:2858)


Petitioners: Advocates Alakh Alok Srivastava, Rishabh Bafna, and Anubha Shrivastava Sahai.

Respondent: Senior Advocate Ramji Srininvasan, Advocates Pooja M. Saigal, Nipun Gupta, Nikhil Sabri, and Namrata Saraogi.

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