NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed registration of BS-IV compliant vehicles that were sold before the nationwide lockdown commenced in March and the details of which were uploaded on the government’s Vahan portal.

The top court on 31 July had barred registration of BS-IV compliant vehicles till further orders while expressing its displeasure over the sale of a large number of vehicles in March during the covid-induced lockdown.

The apex court bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, held that the vehicles, which were sold during the covid-19 lockdown after 25 March shall not be allowed to register. Additionally, the details of the vehicles which were not uploaded on the vahan portal would not be allowed to be registered.

“We cannot be allowing registration of vehicles in Delhi NCR. This is not applicable to Delhi NCR,” Justice Mishra said.

As many as 1.1 million BS-IV-compliant vehicles were sold between 12 March and 31 March, according to the data submitted by the government through the ministry of road, transport and highways (MoRTH). The data also shows that more than 250,000 such vehicles were sold during 29 March to 31 March, when stringent lockdown measures were imposed across the country.

On the other hand, data submitted by Federation Of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) showed combined sales of 225,247 units, which comprised 94,076 vehicles sold by members and 131,717 vehicles sold by non-members of the lobby group.

In 2017, the apex court had decided to stop sales and registration of BS-IV vehicles from 1 April 2020, to control rising pollution levels in Indian cities.

On July 8, the top court had recalled its March 27 order by which it had allowed sale of BS-IV vehicles for 10 days across India, except in Delhi-NCR, after the gradual lifting of the lockdown.

The top court had on March 27 permitted sale of 10% of unsold BS-IV vehicles to make up for the days lost due to the nationwide lockdown.

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

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