The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Wednesday filed a petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s order that banned the sale and registration of all BS-III (Bharat Stage III emission norms) vehicles after March 31, 2017. The SC had on April 13 also directed authorities not to register any vehicle which failed to meet BS-IV emission standards on and from April 1, except on proof that such a vehicle has already been sold on or before March 31. In its 30-page order, an apex court bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur said that “the automobile industry had, at the very minimum, a five-year warning that it would have to consider issues relating to air pollution as part of its manufacturing activities and production strategy and thereafter, the industry had over five years to plan out its activities and revisit the strategy but did not do so”.
Seeking review of the judgment in the open court, SIAM said the order contains mistakes of facts and errors which go to the root of the matter and form the basis for arriving at the findings of the apex court. “This court has inter alia erroneously construed an office memorandum of March 3, 2017 to be an office memorandum of March 3, 2015, to elicit the objective of the government behind such a memorandum,” SIAM said. Further, while recording the series of government notifications to implement BS-IV emission norms as incorporated under various Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, the SC has overlooked the respective dates of such notifications and consequently erred in holding that the road map to introduce BS-IV emission norms for vehicles was known to manufacturers from 2010, the body said. The “staggered phase-in of BS-IV vehicles was done only for the convenience of the vehicle manufacturers”, it added.
SIAM said the ministry of road transport’s office memorandum of March 3, 2017, had also reiterated that there was no bar on vehicles produced prior to April 1 to be sold and registered even thereafter. It submitted that both the Auto Fuel policies of 2003 and the Vision Document 2025 provided a road map for the availability of BS fuel on diverse dates in diverse areas of the country, keeping in mind the time required by the state-owned refineries to upgrade their infrastructure.