The Supreme Court on Thursday permitted the Registration of BS-IV Vehicles in India that were sold before the nationwide lockdown commenced on 25 March, and whose details have been uploaded on the government’s Vahan portal.


A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said that all registrations on e-portal, including temporary registrations, are allowed. However, the relaxation won’t be applicable to Delhi-NCR. “We cannot be allowing registration of vehicles in Delhi-NCR. This is not applicable to Delhi NCR,” noted the top court.


The top court noted that there were certain vehicles, details of which were not uploaded on the VAHAN e-services portal for registration of vehicles, and these sales were made despite the court’s orders that no registration would take place for sales post-March 31.


As many as 1.1 million vehicles compliant with the BS-IV emission norms were sold between 12 March and 31 March, according to data submitted by the government through the ministry of road, transport, and highways (MoRTH). More than 250,000 such vehicles were sold from 29 March to 31 March, when stringent curbs were imposed across the country, the data showed. India shifted to the stricter BS-VI emission norms on 1 April.


The court had on July 8 recalled the March 27 order by which it had allowed the sale of BS-IV vehicles for 10 days across India, except in Delhi-NCR, after lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown. The relief, which was later withdrawn, to permit the sale of the BS-IV vehicles for a small window period after lifting the lockdown was granted to the dealers by the apex court keeping in mind the fact that the country had decided to not to allow their sale after March 2020. The bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra and also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, asked the automobile dealers association to place before it the details of vehicles sold either online or through direct sale during the lockdown period in last week of March.


Meanwhile, data submitted by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations of India (Fada) showed combined sales of 225,247 vehicles, comprising 94,076 vehicles sold by its dealer members and 131,717 vehicles sold by non-members of the lobby group after March.


In 2017, the apex court had ordered the suspension of sales and registration of BS-IV vehicles from 1 April 2020, to control the rising pollution levels in the country. On 8 July, the top court recalled its 27 March order under which it had allowed the sale of BS-IV vehicles for 10 days across India, except in Delhi-NCR, after lifting the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus. The Supreme Court had on 27 March said it was permitting the sale of 10% of unsold BS-IV vehicles to make up for six days lost in March because of the nationwide lockdown.


MoRTH, in compliance with the order dated 24 July, filed an affidavit giving details of vehicles that were uploaded on the Vahan portal after 31 March. The court had said that it will “protect” only those vehicles that have been registered on the portal. Fada has, meanwhile, been directed to provide details of vehicles sold to the government.