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In a move that is likely to hit the automobile industry hard, the Supreme Court has directed that vehicles which are not compliant with Bharat Stage IV emission standards should not be sold in India with effect from April 1.
The order was passed by a Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta.
The Court noted that it agreed with the submissions made by Amicus Curiae Harish Salve, that the health of the people was to be put on a higher pedestal than economic considerations.
Regarding vehicles which have been sold but not registered, the same can be registered on production of proof that such vehicles were sold on or before March 31.
The Court, therefore, directed the following:
(a) On and from 1st April, 2017 such vehicles that are not BS-IV compliant shall not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer, that is to say that such vehicles whether two wheeler, three wheeler, four wheeler or commercial vehicles will not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer on and from 1st April, 2017.
(b) All the vehicle registering authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 are prohibited for registering such vehicles on and from 1st April, 2017 that 5 do not meet BS-IV emission standards, except on proof that such a vehicle has already been sold on or before 31st March, 2017.
It also observed that the automobile manufacturers and dealers should never have gone ahead with the manufacturing and stocking of BS III vehicles, after knowing that there was a deadline looking on the horizon.
The deadline for moving from Bharat Stage III to Bharat Stage IV was set on March 31. However, various automobile dealers and manufacturers had moved the Supreme Court contending that the deadline is only with respect to manufacture of vehicles and not their sale and that vehicles which were already manufactured could be sold and registered.
Read the order below.