The Supreme Court in its order today has lifted the embargo for the registration of BS4 vehicles in a big relief to automotive dealers and customers. The top court said that it will allow the registration of only those BS4 vehicles that were sold prior to the lockdown and details of which were uploaded on the eVahan portal. About 39,000 vehicles though will still not be eligible for registration under the Supreme Court's latest directive. Vehicles that have not been uploaded to the eVahan Portal will not be registered, nor will any BS4 vehicle sold after March 31, 2020, said the top court. The order will not be applicable in Delhi-NCR and BS4 vehicles sold in the region will not be allowed to register.
According to the data submitted by the government through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), over 11 lakh BS4 vehicles were sold between March 12 and March 31 this year. The data also reveals that over 2.5 lakh BS4 vehicles were sold between March 29 and March 31 alone, despite the nationwide lockdown imposed during this period.
However, the data shared by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) claims that a combined sale of over 2.25 lakh BS4 vehicles that comprises 94,076 vehicles sold by members, and 131,717 vehicles sold by non-members. Out of the BS4 vehicles sold prior to March 31, 2020, 39,000 vehicles could not be verified by the eVahan Portal.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had earlier passed orders barring the registration of BS4 vehicles till further orders. On July 31, the top court had also expressed displeasure on the sale of a large number of vehicles in March during COVID-19 lockdown, the SC said that an unusual number of BS4 vehicles were sold during the time.
Justice Mishra also asked Senior Advocate, KV Vishwanathan, "Is this not a fraud on the Court that you say that there will not be many sales during this period and then the sale is higher during this lockdown period?"
Advocate KV Vishwanath for FADA tried to clarify that various methods like discounts and slump sale were adopted as manufacturers refused to take back the stock/inventory. He pleaded with the court to allow registration of vehicles sold till May 31 saying various methods like discounts and slump sale was adopted as manufacturers refused to take back the stock/inventory.