New Delhi, March 27 : The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the sale of BS-IV compliant vehicles for 10 days, barring NCR-Delhi, after the lifting of the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by the Prime Minister from Tuesday midnight due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Mishra conducted hearing on the matter through videoconferencing.
Earlier, the apex court had fixed March 30, 2020, deadline for the sale of BS-IV compliant vehicles across the country.
The court had made it clear that no such vehicles will be allowed to be sold in National Capital Region from April 1, 2020.
The Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) moved the court to seek relaxations on this deadline.
In its plea, the association urged the court to extend the deadline to enable them sell their unsold inventory, as sales literally went dead amid the coronavirus scare and ongoing economic slowdown in the country.
Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.
The BS-IV norms came into force across the country from April 2017.
FADA urged the court to extend the deadline for a considerable period, which may allow dealers to fill the gap in sales, lost due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown.
The association cited possibility of large bankruptcies, and loss of jobs if the inventory remained unsold.
FADA insisted that BS-IV stock worth Rs 7000 crore was still lying unsold, and sought 30 more days to sell the unsold BS-IV vehicles.FADA contended that 15,000 passenger cars, 12,000 commercial vehicles, 7 lakh 2-wheelers, are already at stake due to BS-IV deadline.
Justice Mishra said: "We should have sympathy for BS-VI; protecting environment is important."
The court said that it cannot keep extending BS-VI deadline in the name of coronavirus.
"No point extending time for BS-IV vehicles, burdening environment further," observed the court.
The bench told the automobile dealers association that we should collectively learn to sacrifice, do something for the country's environment.
"We Understand frailty of humans," said the court.
The top court observed that only 10% of the unsold BS-IV vehicles can be sold within 10 days of the end of lockdown, but no such sale will be allowed in the NCR.
The BS-IV vehicles bought before March 31 can be registered later too.
The top court said that BS-IV vehicles bought can be registered within 10 days of sale.