NEW DELHI : In a major set back to auto manufacturers, the Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained them from selling BS-III vehicles+ from April 1 when BS IV emission norms would come in force.
A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that health of millions of citizens was more important that commercial interests of manufacturers and directed the government not allow registration of polluting BS III vehicles after March 31.
The court said that companies were all aware that BS-IV would come in force from April bit they chose to sit back and did not take any action to upgrade their technology to manufacture BS-IV vehicles.
Although the Centre came out in support of auto manufacturers and urged the Supreme Court to allow the companies to sell their existing stock of BS-III vehicles but the court refused to accept its plea.
Centre told the bench that auto manufacturers were earlier allowed to dispose of their stocks in 2005 and 2010 when new emission norms were made compulsory. He said manufacturing vehicles with the old technology was banned, not the sale of existing stocks.
But the bench said that it could not allow BS-III vehicles to ply on roads.
The motor companies are holding a stock of 8,24,275 BS-III vehicles, which includes 96,724 commercial vehicles, 6,71,308 two-wheelers, 40,048 three-wheelers and 16,198 cars.