Supreme Court bars BS-IV vehicles registration till further orders

The Supreme Court expressed displeasure about large number of vehicles being sold in March and observed that something "fraudulent" may have taken place. 

Jul 31, 2020 14:26 IST
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The Supreme Court on July 31, 2020 barred the registration of BS-IV vehicles till it decides the issue of sale of such vehicles during the lockdown period. The top court expressed displeasure about a large number of vehicles being sold in March and observed that something "fraudulent" may have taken place. 

The top court pulled up the automobile dealers association by saying that the BS-IV vehicles were sold during the lockdown in the last week of March as well as after March 31. The apex court bench had on July 8 recalled its March 27 order under which it had allowed the sale of BS-IV vehicles in India, except in Delhi-NCR, for 10 days after lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The relief was earlier being granted for the sale of BS-IV vehicles for a small window period after lifting of the lockdown keeping in mind the fact that the country had decided to not to allow their sale after March 2020.

Key Highlights 

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra made it clear that no BS-4 vehicles will be registered by the authorities till it decides the issue.The bench also comprises Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari. 

The brief hearing was conducted through video conferencing on July 31, 2020. 

The top court bench directed the automobile dealers association to submit all the details of vehicles sold either online or through direct sale during the lockdown period in the last week of March.

The bench stated that it needed to verify the details regarding sale and registration of BS-4 vehicles in the lockdown period.

The bench referring to the surge in the number of vehicles sold especially on March 29th , March 30th and March 31st stated that it will take appropriate action against the concerned people. 

The Supreme Court has posted the matter for further hearing on August 13.


India had switched from BS-IV to BS-VI emission standards on April 1 . The Supreme Court had earlier mandated that only BS-VI emission norms-compliant vehicles will be allowed for sale and registration, starting from April 1st.

The Supreme Court had on July 24 expressed displeasure over an oral petition filed by the automobile dealers association that dealers should be allowed to return unsold inventory of BS-IV vehicles to the manufacturers so that they could be exported to other countries.

The association had argued that there are some countries where the sale of BS-IV compliant vehicles was still allowed. The bench, however, turned down the request by saying that the manufacturers were aware of the deadline. 

Bharat stage emission standards

BS is short for Bharat stage emission standards, which are set by the central government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicle engines. The standards and timeline for implementation of the standards are set by the Central Pollution Control Board. 

The Bharat Stage IV emission norms were enforced in the entire country since April 2017. In 2016, the Indian Government had decided to skip BS5 altogether and implement BS 6 by the year 2020.

Difference between BS-IV and BS-VI

The BS-VI compliant engine will require BS6 fuel and the main difference between BS-VI and BS-IV grade fuel is in the terms of Sulphur and Nitrogen Oxide content. The sulphur traces in BS-VI fuel is almost 5 times lessen than sulphur traces found in BS-IV fuel.


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