The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday banned the registration of BS-IV vehicles until further orders. It ordered that no such vehicles will be registered with the authorities till the top court decides the issue of their sales during the COVID-19-induced lockdown period in March.
The apex court will hear the matter again on August 13.
The SC also expressed displeasure at the sale of a large number of BS-IV vehicles during the lockdown. The court observed that something "fraudulent" may have taken place in the month.
"An unusual number of BS-IV vehicles were sold during the lockdown," said the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.
During the brief hearing conducted through video conferencing on Friday, the bench made clear that no BS-IV vehicles will be registered by the authorities until it decides the issue.
The bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, asked the automobile dealers association to place before it the details of vehicles sold either online or through direct sale during the lockdown period in last week of March.
The bench said it needed to verify details regarding the sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles during the lockdown period.
Earlier this month, the apex court had expressed displeasure over an oral plea filed by the Federation of Automobile Dealers' Association (FADA) that dealers should be permitted to return unsold inventory of BS-IV vehicles to their manufacturers to enable the vehicles' export to other countries.
The counsel appearing for FADA told the Arun Mishra-led bench that the sale of BS-IV vehicles is allowed in some countries.
The SC had on July 8 recalled its March 27 order wherein it allowed sale of BS-IV vehicles for 10 days across India, except in Delhi-NCR, following the relaxations in lockdown.
On March 27, the apex court had relaxed the March 31 deadline for winding up sales and registrations of BS-IV compliant vehicles across the country amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
It had allowed sale and registration of only 10 per cent of the unsold inventory of BS-IV vehicles during that 10-day period after the lockdown, which was imposed on March 25.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta had disposed of two applications filed by FADA and Honda India seeking modification of the top court's order of October 24, 2018, by which it had fixed the March 31, 2020 deadline for sale and registration of BS-IV compliant vehicles.
The apex court had on October 24, 2018 said no Bharat Stage-IV vehicles would be sold or registered in India from April 1, 2020.