The Supreme Court on Wednesday has recalled its March 27 order by which it had allowed sale of BS IV vehicles for 10 days across India, except in Delhi-NCR, after lifting of Covid-19 induced lockdown. The SC bench observed that automobile dealers association have not followed its earlier order and have violated the court's directives.
According to PTI, the bench observed that sale of BS IV vehicles had increased in the last week of March, when the nationwide lockdown was in force, and there were online transactions also. This directive is expected to impact registration of many of these vehicles. The Court asked the automobile dealers association to furnish details of vehicles sold by them to the government. The bench has posted the matter for hearing on July 23.
Warning the automobile dealers of not taking advantage of the apex court by ‘playing fraud’, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra observed that its earlier directives have been violated and BS IV vehicles were sold during the lockdown in last week of March and after March 31 also. While hearing the matter through video-conferencing, the bench, also comprising Justices S A Nazeer and Indira Banerjee, said "Do not take advantage of this court by playing fraud."
The bench said Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) vehicles sold after March 31 and those whose details have not been uploaded on the government’s e-Vahan portal will not be registered. The apex court had on March 27 permitted 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 Bench observed that details of more than 17,000 vehicles have not been uploaded on the government's e-Vahan portal. The bench said it would ask the government to check the e-Vahan data and would allow registration of those BS IV vehicles, whose details are uploaded on the portal till March 31. It also asked the government to place before it the data of vehicles which were uploaded on the e-Vahan portal after 31 March.
As per an affidavit filed by an automobile dealers association in the top court, less than 10 percent of unsold inventory of BS IV vehicles was sold within 10 days of lifting of the lockdown. It said that orders passed by the apex court in October 2018 and March 27 this year have been complied with and there "is no flouting" of the directives. It also provides the data regarding uploading of data in the e-Vahan portal till March 31 this year.
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.
The Supreme Court noted that as per the compliance affidavit filed regarding its March 27 order, more than 2,25,000 vehicles were waiting 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.
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.