The Supreme Court has allowed registration of BS4 cars and bikes but withheld registration of vehicles sold in Delhi-NCR
As per the Supreme Court order, all BS4 compliant cars and bikes sold prior to March 31, 2020 can now be registered. The registration of these bikes was put on hold due to the nationwide lockdown announced on 24th March in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. This ruling has been released following an affidavit filed by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA).
The Court recalled its March 27th order on 8th July 20202, wherein it allowed sales of BS4 vehicles for 10 days following of the lifting of the lockdown across India except for the Delhi-NCR region. The court had also stated in July that details of each of these vehicles sold should be uploaded onto the e-Vahan portal of the Government of India.
As per such information, there were a total of 9,56,015 BS4 vehicles sold during the period March 12-31 2020 out of which 9,01,223 were registered. In March, FADA had also informed the Court that there were around 7 lakh two wheelers, 15,000 passenger cars and 12,000 commercial vehicles in stock which complied with BS4 standards.
While the advocate representing FADA – K V Viswanathan states there is no wrongdoing or misuse of this judgement. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Central Government states that around 39,000 vehicles sold after the period and have also not been uploaded onto the e-Vahan portal and hence have been barred for registration. 9,56,015 BS4 vehicles were sold from March 12 and March 31 this year. Of these, 9,01,223 were registered. The temporary hold on BS4 registration was the indication that such vehicles had been sold past their due date.
Bharat Stage (BS) emission norm
Bharat Stage emission norms relate to the standards instituted by the Government of India in relation to output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. BS4 norms came into effect from April 2017. In 2016 itself the Center had announced that the country would be skipping the BS5 norms and directly going on to BS6 norms from April 2020. As per the Supreme Court directives, no BS4 compliant vehicle could be sold or registered in India post 1st April 2020.
Even as several automakers like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai and Mahindra have already transitioned a major chunk of their product portfolio to BS6 from BS4, there were complaints from auto dealers who raised doubts about being able to liquidate inventory prior to the stipulated deadline.
Covid-19 pandemic added to these woes and hence the top court gave orders that vehicles sold and could not be registered in view of the lockdown that followed could be registered by a later date following a 10 day extension granted. However, concerns arose when the number of BS4 vehicle sold in March 2020 despite lockdown appeared to be much too high.