The Supreme Court on October 24, 2018 ruled that no Bharat Stage-IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020. The Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norm would come into force from April 1, 2020 across the country.
The ruling was made by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur. The bench clarified that only BS-VI compliant vehicle will be sold in India from April 1, 2020.
No grace period for automobile manufacturers beyond April 2020
The court ruled for no grace period for automobile manufacturers for the sale of BS-VI non-compliant vehicles after April 1, 2020.
Earlier, advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the apex court as amicus curiae, had opposed the Union Government’s move to give time till June 30, 2020 to automobile manufacturers to sell their BS-VI non-compliant four-wheelers manufactured till March 31, 2020.
Singh also opposed the government’s proposal to give grace period till September 30, 2020 for the sale of BS-VI non-compliant heavy transport vehicles.
However, the automobile manufacturers justified the grace period to sell their vehicles contending that India was switching from BS-IV emission norms to BS-VI within a short span of time and they should be granted reasonable time to sell their stock.
Why BS-VI grade fuel?
The Bharat stage emission standards were instituted by the Government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The BS-IV norms were in force across the country since April 2017.
In 2016, the Union Government decided to switch over to BS-VI grade fuel directly from BS-IV skipping BS-V, after Environment Pollution Control Authority in its April 2017 report told the apex court that only BS-VI emission standards complaint vehicles should be allowed to be sold from April 1, 2020.
India had switched over to BS-IV grade fuel in April 1, 2017 following the directions of the court banning BS-III grade fuel.
What are Bharat Stage norms?
• Bharat Stage emission standards were introduced in 2000 in line with recommendations made by RA Mashelkar Committee.
• These emission standards were set up by the Union Government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
• The different norms are brought into force in accordance with the timeline and standards set up by the Central Pollution Control Board which comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change.
• The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in its ‘The Auto Fuel Policy 2003’ had recommended implementing BS-VI norms by 2023 by compressing the technology development time by one year.
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What: Ruled by SC