The Supreme Court
on Monday asked motor vehicle manufacturers to give full details of the stock of pre-BSIV vehicles with them. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), which is their umbrella association, will collect data from various manufacturers 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 as the deadline for stopping registration of such vehicles and switch on to BSIV whose toxic emissions are less than that of the old vehicles. With the deadline approaching, the court set the next hearing for Friday.
The manufacturers sought to extend the deadline set 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 Senior counsel Harish Salve, appointed to assist the court in the case, submitted that if the court order was withdrawn, 75,000 trucks without BS IV registration will move freely on all-India permits.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 that he was not able to get the full figures as EPCA has claimed confidentiality to them. Salve insisted on a ban on registration of new vehicles without the new emission norms.
Senior counsel K K Venugopal, representing Hero Motors, argued that when BSII and BS III vehicles were introduced in 2005 and 2009, 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 breakdown 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 the 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 are Honda, Mahindra and Mahindra, TVS and Royal Enfield.