The Supreme Court has banned registration of new Bharat Stage III vehicles as cleaner fuel used by Bharat Stage IV vehicles will be available across country
In a decision that is being hailed as step forward in the fight for clean air, the Supreme Court has ordered a ban on the registration of new Bharat Stage III vehicles effective April 1. The bench that included Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta stated that Bharat Stage-IV fuel (which is cleaner as compared to BS III) will be available nationwide from April 1, so there was no point registering more polluting vehicles. The automobile companies had presented their inventory data to the honourable Supreme Court, which showed that there was no ramping down of production over the last quarter.
The apex court, while giving its order, commented that health of millions of citizens was more important than commercial interests of manufacturers. The court also said that companies knew that BS-IV would come in force from April, yet, they chose to sit back and not take action to upgrade their technology to manufacture BS-IV vehicles.
The order applies to all categories of vehicles, including two-wheelers and heavy duty vehicles. Only vehicles that were ordered before March 31 can be sold, as per the court.
The Central government had earlier issued an order promising the availability of BS-IV fuel across India by April 1, 2017.
While presenting his arguments on the case, senior advocate and amicus curie Harish Salve said that the government had spent huge amount of money in upgrading refineries to produce much clean BS IV fuel in the country as compared to BS-III fuel. He reiterated that this amount has come from the tax-payers money and it should be used to give clean environment to the people and not to create profits for the big automobile companies.
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