In a setback for automobile dealers and customers, the Supreme Court on Wednesday 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. These vehicles could be sold outside the National Capital Region. Taking a strong stand, the apex court said only those vehicles sold within the stipulated deadline and also 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 court’s ire was over the fact that dealers have sold more than the stipulated 10% allowed by it. A lot of dealers and customers may get affected due to the recall of the order because due to Covid-19 and the lockdown, the regional transport offices did not work on regular basis and a lot of registrations of such vehicles are still pending. The case will be heard next on July 23.
As is known, from April 1, only BS-VI vehicles can be sold but because of the novel coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (Fada) had urged the court to extend the deadline as it was saddled with huge inventory of BS-IV vehicles. A bench led by Justice Arun Mishra on Wednesday slammed Fada for flouting its directions by exceeding the limit of 1.25 lakh vehicles which were supposed to be sold during the 10-day grace period. “Please do not take advantage of this court by playing fraud. You have told us no sales have taken place. You are understating your values,” Justice Mishra said, adding that “no vehicle could be registered without our order. You have sold more than allowed. Do not take advantage by playing fraud…” Justice Mishra told Fada senior counsel KV Vishwanathan.
The bench asked the road and transport ministry to give details of the vehicles which were uploaded on Vahan after March 31. It also asked Fada to give data of the vehicles sold to the government.
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