SC recalls it’s order allowing sale of BS-IV vehicles for 10 days after lifting of lockdown


PTI, Jul 8, 2020, 4:35 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday, July 8 recalled its March 27 order by which it had allowed the sale of BS-IV vehicles for 10 days across the country, except in Delhi-NCR, after lifting of COVID-19 induced lockdown.

The apex court said that automobile dealers violated its directives and BS-IV vehicles were sold during the lockdown in the last week of March and after March 31 also.

“Do not take advantage of this court by playing fraud” a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S A Nazeer, and Indira Banerjee, said while hearing the matter through video-conferencing.

The top court had on March 27 said that it was permitting the sale of 10 percent of unsold BS-IV vehicles to make up for six days lost due to the nationwide lockdown which was imposed on March 25.

The apex court Wednesday said that Bharat Stage (BS)-IV vehicles sold after March 31 this year will not be presently registered.

The bench observed that the sale of BS-IV vehicles had increased in the last week of March when the nationwide lockdown was in force, and they were sold online also.

Senior advocate Aparajita Singh, who is assisting the top court as an amicus curiae in the matter, said the court has recalled its March 27 order.

During the hearing, the bench observed that the automobile dealers association has not followed its earlier order and they have violated the apex court’s directives.

It said that BS-IV vehicles were sold during the lockdown in the last week of March and after March 31 also and now their registration was sought despite the fact that order was passed way back in 2018.

The association’s counsel referred to an earlier order and argued that the court had said if BS-IV vehicle is sold before March 31, then registration would be done.

To this, the bench asked how dealers have sold these vehicles during the lockdown period in March.
It observed that details of more than 17,000 vehicles have not been uploaded on the e-Vahan portal of the Government of India.

The bench said it would ask the government to check the e-Vahan data.

The court said that it would allow registration of those BS-IV vehicles, whose details are uploaded on the e-Vahan portal till March 31.

It asked the government to place before it the data of vehicles which were uploaded on the e-Vahan portal after 31 March.

It asked the automobile dealers association to furnish details of the vehicles sold by them to the government.

The bench has posted the matter for hearing on July 23.

The apex court in October 2018 said no BS-IV vehicle would be sold or registered in India from April 1, 2020.

In 2016, the Centre had also announced that India would skip the BS-V norms and adopt BS-VI by 2020.

BS emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.

On June 15, the apex court had made it clear that no sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles would be permitted in the country and pulled up the automobile dealers association for violating its earlier order that had given some limited relaxation.

A livid top court had noted that as per the compliance affidavit filed regarding its March 27 order, more than 2,25,000 vehicles were waiting for registration as on March 31 and this exceeded the figure which it had specified.

It had allowed registration of 1.05 lakh two-wheelers, 2,250 passenger cars, and 2,000 commercial vehicles which were sold but not registered across the country.

It had said that registration of vehicles, which were to be sold out of the permitted 10 percent, cannot be made without its permission and without giving particulars as ordered by the court in March.

In March this year, the apex court was informed about the unsold inventory of BS-IV vehicles — around seven lakh two-wheelers, 15,000 passenger cars, and 12,000 commercial vehicles.

It was told that there were 1,05,000 two-wheelers, 2,250 passenger cars, and 2,000 commercial vehicles, which were sold but not registered throughout the country.

The top court had then ordered that vehicles, which were sold but not registered, be registered by the authorities by April 30.

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