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Supreme court allows dealers to sell only 10% of BS-IV vehicles stock after deadline

A bench of judges Deepak Gupta and Arun Mishra heard through video conferencing today a plea filed by the Federation of Automotive Dealers’ Association (FADA) seeking an extension of 30 days to sell and register unsold stocks of BSIV vehicles.
New Delhi | Mumbai : The Supreme Court on Friday permitted vehicle retailers to sell 10% of unsold Bharat Stage-IV compliant inventory within 10 days of the current lockdown getting over, except in the National Capital Region.

The details of the vehicles sold have to be furnished by the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Associations (FADA) — which had approached the Supreme Court seeking more time to sell the vehicles — and only these vehicles will be allowed to get registered, the court said.

India will migrate to BS-VI emission standards on April 1, and as per a previous court order vehicles compliant with the outgoing regulations cannot be sold or registered beyond March 31. The 21-day lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, if not extended, will end only on April 14.

The federation moved the court seeking an extension of 30 days to the deadline, even as operations at dealerships have come to a standstill due to the nationwide lockdown.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta heard the plea through videoconferencing on Friday.

“There is no justification to extend the time which was fixed a long time ago,” their order read. “This is not something new which has occurred, it would be further injurious and further burden on human health to be caused by pollution of BS-IV vehicles when BS-VI vehicles are supposed to be produced by the manufacturers well in advance considering the deadline of 31st March 2020.”

The dealers’ counsel told the court that there were 1,05,000 two-wheelers, 2,250 passenger cars and 2,000 commercial vehicles which were sold but not registered. Dealers said the sale of some more vehicles could be concluded before the deadline, through online payment. The road tax and insurance premium for these can be paid online too.

The apex court said such vehicles could be registered by the concerned authorities before the end of April, provided the FADA was able to furnish details of such sales within seven days from Friday.

Automobile dealers have around Rs 6,400 crore worth of BS-IV compliant vehicles with them. These include 700,000 two-wheelers, 15,000 passenger vehicles and 12,000 commercial vehicles.

Many dealers would go under due to the excess unsold inventory with them, said a dealer, asking not to be named. The FADA had written to vehicle manufacturers to buy back unsold vehicles from dealers. However, no communication has been made from the vehicle makers’ end so far.

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