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Facing difficulty in clearing BS IV vehicle stock as sales has dipped over COVID-19 outbreak, auto dealers have approached the Supreme Court again seeking extension of the deadline to register vehicles running on older emission norms.
In an Interlocutory Application, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) has sought modification in Writ Petition No. 13029 of 1985 in the matter of M. C. Mehta vs Union Of India & others, dated October 24, 2018, whereby it has been directed that "any motor vehicle conforming to emission standard Bharat Stage-IV shall be sold or registered in the entire country with effect from 01.04.2020."
The court has accepted our application, but dates have not been given for hearing, FADA Vice President Vinkesh Gulati told IANS.
FADA had filed an application in the apex court earlier as well with the prayer for an extension of registering BS IV vehicles in wake of huge unsold inventory and slowing sales. That application was, however, rejected by the court on February 14.
"Post our initial application, there has been a drastic change in circumstances in conducting business as usual. SARS-CoV-2 a.k.a coronavirus (COVID-19) which emerged in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China has spread rapidly across the globe and also in India," FADA President Ashish Harsharaj Kale said.
"Following this in the past week there has been drastic drop in sales and customer walk-ins have reduced to a trickle as caution sets in due to fear of spreading of the Virus. Counter sales has fallen by 60-70 per cent across auto dealerships in these past few days," he added.
Apart from the nearing deadline, auto dealers are also facing problem of getting BS IV registered in few states. Some State governments issued circulars directing that no applications for registration of BS IV vehicles would be accepted on or after a certain date, which are much ahead of March 31, 2020.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday said that it has approached the Supreme Court seeking directions for ensuring sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles are allowed till the cut-off date of March 31st, 2020.
According to SIAM, the cut-off dates ranges from February 29, 2020 to March 25, 2020 from state to state, though the BS VI Emission compliance is mandated from April 1, 2020.
The Supreme Court has directed that no BS IV vehicle will be sold or registered from April 1, 2020.
Though several companies had already stopped production of BS IV vehicles earlier and have exported large quantities of inventory, some dealerships are still sitting on unsold stock. A few dealers are also selling these vehicles to online sale portals so that BS IV vehicles could be sold later in the second hand market.
A petrol vehicle once registered has a life of 15 years while diesel 10 years.