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Automobile dealers' body approaches SC seeking an extension of sale, registration of BS-IV vehicles till May-end

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Automobile dealers' body FADA on Tuesday said it has filed an application with the Supreme Court seeking an extension of sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles till 31 May, 2020 -- an extension of two months from March-end deadline to clear the stock of such models.

New Delhi: Automobile dealers' body FADA on Tuesday said it has filed an application with the Supreme Court seeking an extension of sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles till 31 May, 2020 -- an extension of two months from March-end deadline to clear the stock of such models.

The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) on behalf of its members has once again approached the Supreme Court, and has filed an interlocutory application along with an application seeking modification in the writ petition dated 24 October, 2018.

In the petition, in the matter of M C Mehta versus Union of India and others, the apex court had directed that no motor vehicle conforming to emission standard BS-IV shall be sold or registered in the entire country with effect from 1 April, 2020.

"We have submitted an application with the Supreme Court for extension of the registration process of BS-IV vehicles till 31 May, 2020. We are now seeking an urgent hearing on the matter," FADA President Ashish Harsharaj Kale told PTI.

The two-wheeler BS-IV inventory at dealerships across the country stood at around 8.35 lakh units valued at around Rs 4,600 crore, he added.

"The situation in the passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle segments is much better as compared to two-wheelers," Kale said.

FADA had filed an application earlier as well which was rejected by the apex court on 14 February this year.

"Post our initial application, necessitated due to huge unsold BS-IV inventory and slowing sales, getting rejected by the apex court on February 14, 2020, there has been a drastic change in circumstances in conducting business as usual," Kale said.

The spread of coronavirus has led to a drastic drop in sales and customer walk-ins have reduced to a trickle, he added.

"As caution sets in due to fear of spreading of the virus, counter sales have fallen by 60-70 percent across auto dealerships in these past few days," Kale said.

The situation has worsened in the past three-four days with partial lockdown situation in many towns and cities and few district magistrates have started issuing notices of the closure of shops and establishments including auto dealerships to stop the spread of the virus, Kale said.

"Owing to situations which are beyond our control and the fact that many of our members may face dealership closures if left with unsold BS-IV stocks, FADA has once again approached the apex body with a request for permission of sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles till 31 May, 2020," he said.

It hopes to get an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court owing to the criticality of the issue and the deadline of 31 March, he added.

On Monday, auto industry body SIAM had said that it has filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking sale and registration of BS-IV vehicles till 31 March, 2020.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said that some state governments have recently issued circulars directing that no application for registration of BS-IV vehicles would be accepted on or after certain dates, which are much ahead of 31 March, 2020.

"The cut-off dates range from 29 February, 2020, to 25 March, 2020, from state to state, though BS-VI emission compliance is mandated from 1 April, 2020," he had said.

These circulars have put customers, dealers and vehicle manufacturers in severe discomfort as each of them are racing against time to exhaust the BS-IV stocks which are with the dealers, SIAM President Rajan Wadhera had said.

In the current circumstances, any unsold BS-IV vehicle would end up as scrap after 31 March, 2020. From 1 April, only BS-VI compliant vehicles will be registered in the country.

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