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SC raps dealers for flouting BS-IV sale rules

June 16, 2020 05:51 AM

COURTESY HT JUNE 16

SC raps dealers for flouting BS-IV sale rules
Abraham Thomas

letters@hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : Last minute sales of BS-IV vehicles across the country till March 31, the deadline fixed by the Supreme Court for phasing out these vehicles have come under the judicial scanner. On Monday, the top court was riled to note that while its earlier order (dated March 27) permitted registration of 1.09 lakh BS-IV vehicles sold till March 31, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) produced a list of 2.25 lakh vehicles awaiting registration.

Spotting this surge, the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S Abdul Nazeer said: “There is clear cut violation of our order… Annexure A and B (filed by FADA) indicate that more than 2.25 lakh vehicles were awaiting registration as on March 31, 2020 whereas it exceeds the figure more than 1 lakh (1.05 lakh two­-wheelers, 2250 cars and 2000 commercial vehicles) that we specified in the order (of March 27).”

Fixing the next hearing on June 19, the bench sought details of the vehicles sold up to March 31, the date of sale along with category of vehicle sold, and also the details of sales made after lifting of the lockdown on May 3. The Court in its March 27 order, as an exception, allowed automobile dealers to sell 10% of the BS-IV idle stock lying with them throughout the country except in Delhi-NCR. This order was passed keeping in mind the health of citizens; in a bid to curb air pollution the Court ordered phasing out of BS-IV vehicles and the rollout of BS-VI fuel-based engines from April 2020.

It also directed the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to provide details of BS-IV vehicles sold as on March 31, 2020 that were specified on the government’s E-vahan portal. It ordered the Centre to collect information on the sale of BS-IV vehicles after the lockdown ended from all regional transport offices (RTOs).

FADA submitted to the Court that the mismatch in sale figures came about as non-members of the association did not supply details of sales at the time when the Court passed the order on March 27. But the bench said that its order was binding on members and non-members alike. In fact, on March 27, the bench was informed that the unsold BS-IV inventory comprised of 7 lakh two-­wheelers, 15,000 passenger cars and 12,000 commercial vehicles. “It appears that the order (of March 27) is being misused for the reasons best known to the respondents (FADA) and they have not filed affidavit in compliance of the order passed by this Court,” said the bench, adding, “Registration of vehicles which were to be sold out of 10 per cent cannot be made without the permission of this Court and without giving particulars as ordered by this Court.”

 

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