Expressing displeasure on the sale of large number of BS IV vehicles during the last week of March and after it also, the Supreme Court on Friday put on hold their registration till further orders. The implication is that large number of sales were done after March 31 which is being shown to have been done before the scheduled deadline. A bench led by justice Arun Mishra said that “an unsual” high number of BS IV vehicles were sold during the March lockdown and after it. “You are in great trouble. We will prosecute somebody,” the bench told the counsel appearing for the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA). “We will take appropriate action against these fellows,” justice Mishra said referring to the surge in the number of vehicles sold especially on March 29, 30 and 31.
The deadline for selling BS IV vehicles was till March 31, but the court had allowed dealers to sell 10% of the unsold vehicles over 10 days after March 31 deadline to make up for the six days lockdown in March. These vehicles were to be sold outside the national capital region. The allegation against the dealers is that they have sold more than the permitted 10% and it seems that to cover it up back dated sales are being shown which explains the huge surge in the last few days of March. Asking the government and car dealers to place on record the details of advertisements for BS IV vehicles since March, it posted the matter for further hearing on August 13.
On July 8, the top court had recalled its March 27 order that allowed dealers to sell 10% of the unsold BS IV vehicles over 10 days after the March 31 deadline. Taking a strong stand, the apex court had said that only those vehicles sold within the stipulated deadline and registered and whose details have been uploaded on the government’s e-portal Vahan, would be valid. The ones sold but not yet registered would be considered invalid.
The bench on Friday also perused an affidavit filed by the ministry of road, transport and highways. It said that there are reasons to believe that fraudulent activities have happened in order to sell BS IV cars after the March 31 deadline. The Centre informed the SC that over eight times more BS IV vehicles have been sold between March 12 to 31 than what FADA claims. FADA had claimed that only 1.34 lakh BS IV vehicles were sold during the period.
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