Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the transport department to allow registration of the resale of about 560 Bharat Stage (BS)-IV compliant vehicles. In some of the cases, the vehicles were blacklisted and in other cases, the registrations were cancelled for having failed to meet the deadline of March 31, 2020, for registration of new BS-IV compliant vehicles.
On Wednesday, the division bench of justice Gautam Patel and justice Madhav Jamdar struck down the orders blacklisting some vehicles and restored the cancelled registrations. The list of vehicles include about 350 two-wheelers, 200 four-wheelers, high-end cars like BMWs, Mini Coopers, Porsches and 60 commercial vehicles. The authorities had refused to register the vehicles for having missed the deadline of March 31, 2020, set by the Supreme Court.
The order came on a bunch of petitions filed by vehicle owners, primarily individuals connected with dealerships or distributorships from Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Satara districts, who had questioned the blacklisting and cancellation of registration of their BS-IV compliant vehicles, primarily contending they had registered the sales of their vehicles within the Supreme Court deadline of April 1, 2020.
The apex court had on October 24, 2018, restrained the authorities from registering any motor vehicle conforming to the emission standard Bharat Stage-IV from registered in the country from April 1, 2020.
The road transport authorities, however, said that the dealers and distributors had got the BS-IV compliant vehicles registered in the names of their directors or owners or persons connected with them before the deadline of March 31, 2020, to tide over the Supreme Court-imposed prohibition and sought to register the sales of these vehicles to outsiders as second sales, and therefore second sales of the new vehicles by these distributors after March 31, 2020 “were all illicit and prohibited as such.”
HC, however, refused to accept the transport authority’s stand.
“A more accurate reading is that the second sales are permitted but are restricted to those vehicles that were sold and the sales were registered on the E-Vaahan portal before 31st March 2020,” said the bench, adding that if such second sales were not allowed the vehicles could not be used at all and would have to be turned to scrap or junked without ever being used.