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New Delhi, February 14, 2020
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea of the association of automobile dealers seeking one-month extension of the April 1, 2020, deadline to sell Bharat Stage-IV compliant vehicles across the country.
The Centre in 2016 announced India would skip the BS-V norms altogether and transition to BS-VI norms by 2020. In October 2018, the apex court said Bharat Stage-IV vehicle will not be sold or registered in the country from April 1, 2020.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta declined to extend the deadline for even a day. The counsel representing Federation of Automobile Dealers Association submitted that a dealer would face extreme difficulty with the unsold inventory of BS-IV compliant vehicles after the top court order comes into force.
The lawyer also cited the slowdown in the automobile industry and urged the court to extend the deadline by a month. "Kindly allow us to sell BS-IV vehicles to clear the stock", contended the lawyer. The bench replied the order in this matter was passed nearly 18 months ago; and the production of the BS-IV should have been managed in the backdrop of this order.
The counsel for the automobile dealers urged the court to consider this as a "mercy plea". The court simply said "No". In the October 2018 order, the apex court observed that any extension in this case would further worsen the health of the citizens, as the pollution levels have become critical.
Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. Since April 2017, the BS-IV norms have been enforced across the country.