Order of the Supreme Court on sale of BS IV vehicles during the lockdown period, 08/07/2020

  • 08/07/2020

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of M. C. Mehta Vs Union of India & Others dated 08/07/2020 regarding registratio of BS IV vehicles.

The SC in its order of March 27, 2020 allowed the sale of BS IV vehicles after March 31, 2020 due to lockdown. The counsel appearing on behalf of the applicant - Federation of Automobile Dealers Association on March 27 said that 1,05,000 two-wheelers, 2250 passenger cars and 2000 commercial vehicles are there which have been sold but not registered through out India. Unsold vehicles are stated to be 7,00,000 two wheelers, 15,000 passenger cars and 12,000 commercial vehicles.

The SC directed that that sold vehicles be registered by the concerned authorities by April 30, 2020 and also directed the applicant to furnish details of the purchasers within seven days. The details of registration also needed to be furnished to the court.

The SC in its July 8, 2020 order noted that the figures furnished by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations indicated more sale during the period of lockdown as compared to the non-lockdown period. The SC recalled the order, which allowed vehicles to be sold for 10 days after the lockdown was over.

The SC recalled the order of March 27, 2020 - as it was passed only on the consideration that during lockdown, the sellers would not be able to sell any vehicle. "The benefit of the order cannot be taken two ways by making more sales during the period of lockdown and grace period of ten days further after 31.03.2020," the order said. The vehicles shall be treated to be with dealers as if they are not sold and consideration if any received shall be returned forthwith to the purchasers, no such vehicles sold after 31.03.2020 of BS-IV technology shall be registered.

Coming to the question of registration of vehicles sold up to 31.03.2020, the apex court asked Aishwarya Bhati, Additional Solicitor General of India, to make verification as per the list submitted as to which vehicles were actually put on the E-Vahan portal of the Government and the data from other States of which data was not uploaded on E-Vahan portal also to be ascertained and filed before the Court before the next date of hearing, only then the SC would consider the question of registration and not before that.

"We have to see whether these transactions during lockdown are genuine transactions or they have been back dated," the SC in its order said.