The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) for not following its order permitting the sale of limited BS-IV vehicles after March 31, after which BS-VI emission norms came into force.
A bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, observed that the court allowed the sale and registration of 1.05 lakh BS-IV vehicles, but it seems 2.55 lakh vehicles were sold.
Seeking details of sale and registration from the FADA by Friday, the court said: "Where is the affidavit? What will happen to the vehicles that you have already sold? Do you think this is a game?"
The court also asked the Centre to provide information on the sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles.
On March 27, the apex court had allowed the sale of BS-IV compliant vehicles for 10 days, barring Delhi-NCR, after the lifting of the nationwide lockdown, which was announced by the Prime Minister due to the outbreak of coronavirus. The apex court had fixed the deadline of March 30 for the sale of BS-IV compliant vehicles across the country but made it clear that no BS-IV vehicles will be allowed to be sold in Delhi-NCR from April 1. The bench had given this extension to clear 10 per cent of the unsold inventory after the lockdown.
The FADA moved the court, seeking relaxation on this deadline. In a plea before the court, the association urged the court to extend the deadline for the sale of their unsold inventory, as the sales have literally gone dead amid coronavirus scare besides the ongoing economic slowdown in the country.
Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The BS-IV norms came into force across the country in April 2017.
The FADA urged the court to extend the deadline for a considerable period, which may allow dealers to fill the gap on sales, lost due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown. It cited the possibility of large bankruptcies and loss of jobs if the inventory is unsold.
As FADA contended that 15,000 passenger cars, 12,000 commercial vehicles, and seven lakh 2-wheelers are already at stake due to BS-IV deadline, Justice Mishra said: " We should have sympathy for BS-VI, protecting the environment is important."
The FADA insisted that BS-IV stock worth 7,000 crore is still lying unsold, and sought 30 more days to sell BS-IV vehicles.