BS-IV: SC breather for auto makers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 27, 2020

A clearance sale of BS-IV two-wheelers in Vijayawada (file pic). KVS Giri

The Supreme Court on Friday granted partial relief to automobile manufacturers to sell their BS-IV unsold vehicles within 10 days after end of the lockdown period (April 14), but not in Delhi-NCR.

This would mean no BS-IV vehicles will be allowed to be sold in Delhi-NCR from April 1, 2020.

The SC also said that sold BS-IV vehicles before the lockdown should be registered within 10 days of the sale. It however, also added that only 10 per cent of unsold BS-IV vehicles can be sold within 10 days of end of lockdown.

The decision comes as a relief for manufacturers, especially the two-wheeler companies who have been reeling under pile of stocks at their dealerships.

There were BS-IV stocks of the two-wheelers to the tune of seven-lakh units, 12,000 passenger vehicles and 8,000 commercial vehicles at dealerships across India. And, amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that has led to lockdowns and closure of non-essential businesses, the companies couldn't help but to knock the door of the Supreme Court.

The apex court, which had earlier fixed the deadline of March 31, for sale of BS IV compliant vehicles across the country, passed the order on a plea by Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (FADA), which had sought extension of time for sale of their unsold inventory amid Covid-19 scare and economic slowdown.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta, which heard the matter on Friday through video-conferencing, made it clear however that no BS-IV vehicles will be allowed to be sold in Delhi-NCR from April 1.

Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The BS-IV norms have been enforced across the country since April, 2017.

FADA on March 17, on behalf of its members had approached the SC and filed an Interlocutory Application for extension of deadline of registration of BS-IV vehicles, further to its earlier application on February 14.

"Owning to situations which are beyond our control and the fact that many of our members may face dealership closures if leftover with unsold BS-IV stocks, FADA has once again approached the apex body with a request for permission of sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles till May 31, 2020 and hopes to get an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court owing to the criticality of the issue and the deadline of March 31 approaching fast," Ashish Harsharaj Kale, President, FADA had said.

However, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had filed a different application in the SC seeking directions for ensuring that sale and/ or registration of BS-IV vehicles are allowed till the cut-off date of March 31.

It said some State governments have recently issued circulars directing that no applications for registration of BS-IV vehicles would be accepted on or after a certain date, which are much ahead of March 31. The cut-off dates ranges from February 29 to March 25 from State to State, though BS-VI Emission compliance is mandated from April 1.

"These circulars have put the customers, dealers and vehicle manufacturers in severe discomfort, as each of them are racing against time to exhaust the BS-IV stocks which are with the dealers," Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM had said in the application.

Published on March 27, 2020

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