The Supreme Court has recalled its March 27 order that allowed the sale of BS-IV vehicles after the lockdown. The apex court has slammed the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association of India (FADA) for committing 'fraud'. The apex court has also clarified that it will protect only those vehicles which have been registered with the VAHAN portal.
SC has directed FADA to furnish the data of BS4 sales and has directed the government to corroborate the sales data with the information available on the VAHAN portal. The apex court noted that over 17.000 vehicles sold were not registered with the VAHAN portal.
SC, today, observed that FADA had understated the number of BS4 vehicles sold after the March 31 deadline. FADA was also warned against taking advantage of the court by “playing fraud”. The SC noted that it seemed that FADA had sold more vehicles than had been allowed by the SC and questioned how.
The court observed that after exceeding the number of BS4 vehicles allowed for sale, FADA was now seeking for relaxation of the SC order to allow the registration of the vehicles.
FADA, on its part, argued that it was merely seeking registration of vehicles that were sold prior to the March 31 deadline, as prescribed by the government. FADA has submitted that as of March 31, member dealers have sold 94,000 BS4 vehicles, while non-member dealers have sold over 1.3 lakh BS4 vehicles. SC had allowed a prescribed a limit of 1.09 lakh.
In the last hearing, on June 16, SC had lashed out at FADA for flouting the prescribed conditions for the sale of BS4 inventory after the March 31 deadline. Justice Arun Mishra led bench of the SC had pulled up FADA for exceeding the quota of BS4 vehicle sales that had been allowed.
As per government notification, March 31 had been prescribed as a deadline for all automakers to switch from BS4 to BS6 emission norms. The notification had prescribed that sale and registration of BS4 vehicles would not be allowed beyond the March 31 deadline.
On March 27, SC allowed marginal relief to auto dealers and auto cos, permitting the sale of 10 percent unsold BS4 inventory. SC had directed the sale of BS4 inventory would be allowed for only 10 days post the lifting of the lockdown. SC also directed that all sold vehicles will have to be registered in no more than 10 days from the date of sale. SC had disallowed the sale of any BS4 inventory in the Delhi-NCR region.
SC had relaxed the March 31 deadline, on the back of an urgent plea by FADA. FADA had made an urgent appeal before the apex court to relax the deadline by 30 days after the lifting of the lockdown. The FADA, citing Force Majeure circumstances, argued that the lockdown owing to the Coronavirus had kept the dealers from being able to sell the existing inventory.
FADA argued that the lockdown had translated into over 15,000 unsold BS4 commercial vehicles and over 12,000 unsold BS4 passenger vehicles. The number of unsold BS4 two-wheelers was pegged at over 7 lakhs by FADA. FADA had pleaded before the SC that unsold inventory accounted for over Rs 7,000 crore.