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In the wake of the stalemate over the decision to ban registration of Bharat Stage (BS)-III emission variant vehicles from April 1, the Supreme Court on Monday directed automobile majors to submit details of stocks of unsold BS-III vehicles.
A Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked for details after the apex court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) sought implementation of its earlier notification for stopping sale of vehicles which were not BS-IV-compliant after March 31. The Bench impleaded Bajaj Auto and Honda Motors as parties to the case and directed the automobile companies to give figures of manufacturing and sale of vehicles on a monthly basis from January 2016.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, who is an amicus curiae in the case, supported the deadline fixed by the government and said the notification was clear about the proposed ban on sale of BS-III vehicles and sufficient time has been given to the automakers. Auto industry body — Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM), however, opposed the submission and said that the notification allows them to manufacture vehicles till March 31 and sought extension of time beyond April 1. During the hearing, the counsel for Bajaj informed the court that the company was in favour of the April 1 deadline for enforcement of BS-IV norms and sought directions to ensure that all manufacturers follow the timeline.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on March 24. Last October, the Environment Pollution Control Authority had said it would not allow sale or registration of any pre-BS-IV vehicles from April 1.
The government had in August 2015 said the sale of four-wheelers not meeting Bharat Stage (BS)-IV emission norms will be barred in India from April 2017 with a view to bringing the entire country under the ambit of tighter pollution control regime. The notification, however, made no mention of whether the sale of BS-III inventory would be allowed.