SC seeks inventory of vehicles without BS-IV technology
The Supreme Court on Monday asked motor vehicle manufacturers to give full details of the stock of pre-BS (Bharat Stage)-IV vehicles with them. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), which is the umbrella association of car manufacturers, will collect data from various carmakers and present them to the court. The order covers two-wheelers, four-wheelers and commercial vehicles.
The Bench, headed by Justice Madan Lokur, was hearing the pleas of manufacturers who had huge stocks of vehicles with BS-III certifications. The court had set April 1, 2017, as the deadline for stopping registration of such vehicles and switch to BS-IV, whose toxic emissions are less than that of the old vehicles. With the deadline approaching, the court set the next hearing for Friday.
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The manufacturers sought to extend the deadline by the court at the instance of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), set up by the court in the public interest case moved by M C Mehta. Senior counsel Harish Salve, appointed to assist the court in the case, submitted that if the court order was withdrawn, 75,000 trucks without BS-IV registration will move freely on all-India permits. He gave the figures of other types of vehicles which would violate the court order. He said he was not able to get the full figures as the EPCA has claimed confidentiality to them. Salve insisted on a ban of registration of new vehicles without the new emission norms.
Senior counsel K K Venugopal, representing Hero Motors, argued that when BS-II and BS-III vehicles were introduced in 2005 and 2009, respectively, the government had allowed the manufacturers to continue production for some more time. Siam counsel questioned the power of EPCA to set down rules.
The judges wanted to know the break-down of figures of vehicles in various categories and those which are with the manufacturers and those with dealers. Since the manufacturers were not able to give data, the court passed the order summoning the full details.
Most of the leading vehicle manufacturers were before the court, though their stand was not identical and sometimes contradictory. Some of them were Honda, Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS and Royal Enfield.