The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations’ suggestion to direct automobile manufacturers to take back unsold inventory of Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) compliant vehicles. The dealers’ body through senior counsel KV Vishwanathan said that the manufacturers can export the returned vehicles to the countries like Africa that still allow Bharat Stage-IV vehicles. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, while posting the matter for further hearing on July 31, observed that the manufacturers and dealers were aware of the March 31 deadline to sell the BS-IV vehicles. The apex court on July 7 had recalled its March 27 order that allowed dealers to sell 10% of the unsold BS-IV vehicles over ten days after the Covid lockdown. It also directed that no BS-IV vehicles will be registered if sold after March 31. It allowed registration of only those vehicles whose details have been uploaded on the government’s e-portal, Vahan, post March 31.
Justice Mishra had slammed the Association for flouting its directions by exceeding the limit of 1.25 lakh to sell the vehicles. The relaxation to sell 1.25 lakh BS-IV vehicles was given after FADA had submitted that it had an unsold inventory worth Rs 7,000 crore. FADA, the apex dealer body, had in February sought modification of the Supreme Court’s October 24, 2018 order that prohibited sale and registration of BS-IV compliant vehicles from April 1, 2020.
The retailers had said that they might fail to liquidate Bharat Stage-IV vehicles’ inventory before the new emission standards take effect on April 1, 2020, due to impact of Covid-19. They had sought a two-month extension to sell BS-IV vehicles in India once the lockdown was lifted.
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