Supreme Court has turned down a plea by automobile dealers seeking to alter its earlier order prohibiting sale of BS-IV compliant vehicles from April 1, 2020. Following this, industry body Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) has asked auto dealers to sell remaining stocks of BS-IV vehicles by March 31, 2020.
On October 24, 2018, the Supreme Court had ruled that no motor vehicle conforming to the older BS-IV emission norms can be sold or registered in the country from April 1, 2020. On December 18, 2019, FADA had moved the Supreme Court, seeking an extension to the last date for selling BS-IV vehicles. The auto dealers' body had said that unsold BS-IV inventory would lead to financial hardships for the dealers, and "even threaten the existence of their business".
The counsel appearing for FADA has sought one month's time to clear pending BS-IV inventory, considering the slowdown in automobile industry.
The Supreme Court bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta made it clear that the deadline for BS-IV vehicles will not be extended by even one day. The apex court said that BS-IV vehicles were produced even after its order in the matter one and a half years ago.
"You should not have produced BS-IV vehicles after that. Even after filing this application, you have produced these vehicles," the bench said. "We will not give even one day."
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. The Centre had announced that India would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.
The Supreme Court had then banned sale of BS-IV vehicles in the country. In its October 2018 order, the top court had said that any extension of time in introducing new emission norms would adversely impact the health of citizens as the pollution has reached an "alarming and critical" level.
It had said there cannot be any compromise on the health of citizens which has to take precedence over the "greed" of a few automobile manufacturers who want to stretch the timeline to make a "little more money".