New India: Automobile manufacturers holding around 8.5 vehicles with Bharat Stage III engines in stock received a big jolt on Wednesday after the Supreme Court of India rejected their plea for a relief and stopped the sale of such vehicles from April 1 onwards.
In its order pronounced today, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that from April 1, 2017, only Bharat Stage IV compliant vehicles should be sold by auto companies.
The auto companies were requesting the court to grant them a relief of six to seven months. The court however did not honour their plea.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had submitted data on manufacturing and sale of Bjarat Stage III vehicles on a monthly basis from January 2016 and told the court that the companies were holding stock of around 8.24 lakh such vehicles, including 96,000 commercial vehicles, over 6 lakh two-wheelers and around 40,000 three-wheelers.
The manufacturers told the court that they were allowed to sell their stocks with old emission norms on previous two occasions when the industry had switched to Bharat Stage II and Bharat Stage III in 2005 and 2010.
The SC ruling came in order to mitigate pollution.
“Health of people is far more important than the commercial interests of the manufacturers or the loss that they are likely to suffer in respect of the so-called small number of such vehicles,” the Supreme Court bench said.
“The manufacturers of such vehicles were fully aware that eventually from 1st April, 2017 they would be required to manufacture only Bharat Stage IV compliant vehicles but for reasons that are not clear, they chose to sit back and declined to take sufficient pro-active steps,” it said.