NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (Fada) for exceeding the limit to sell Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) compliant vehicles that was fixed by the court.
“Do not take advantage by playing fraud…You have told us no sales have taken place. No vehicle could be registered without our order. No registration. You’ve sold more than allowed,” the apex court bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, told Fada. “You did not follow our order. We discussed this. Still today you are violating our order.”
The court asked the Centre to submit data on the details of vehicles which were uploaded on the government’s e-portal, Vahan, post 31 March. The court said it will allow registration of only those vehicles whose details have been uploaded on Vahan. FADA has been directed to give all the required details of the vehicles sold to the government.
The top court, in its 27 March order, had said the BS IV vehicles have to be registered within 10 days of sale but those bought before 31 March can be registered later. The bench had given an extension of 10 days to clear the 10% of the unsold inventory after the end of the lockdown.
The court today observed that there seemed to be “fraud” and questioned senior advocate KV Vishwanathan, representing FADA, about the sale of vehicles after the order was passed by the court. Justice Mishra said, “We gave you 7 days. Whatever you might have sold it was sold more than the time allowed. Are you saying 10,000 vehicles were sold online in one day.”
“How were vehicles sold online at 30%-40% off? That too after 31 march? What is this fraud?” he added.
The court also observed that details of more than 17,000 vehicles not uploaded on Vahan portal.
The case will be next heard on 23 July.
FADA had filed an affidavit entailing the details of the sold but unregistered BS-IV vehicles and it has pleaded that the registration of these vehicles be allowed post the 31 March deadline.
The court on the last date of hearing had sought details of the sales made after the lockdown was relaxed post 3 May. It also sought the details regarding the entry of sales made on the Vahan portal.
On 27 March, the top court had relaxed the 31 March deadline for winding up sales and registrations of BS IV emission norm-compliant vehicles amid the 21-day countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of covid-19. The top court had passed the order while hearing the plea filed by Fada which had sought a two-month extension of the 31 March-deadline for sale and registration of such vehicles.
Fada had filed an interlocutory application with the apex court in June first week seeking relief as covid-19 pandemic had dealt a heavy blow on auto dealers who were already battling a prolonged liquidity crisis.
The unsold inventory is worth over ₹7,000 crore, Fada had said.
The top court had earlier mandated that only BS-VI emission norms-compliant vehicles will be allowed for sale and registration, beginning 1 April.
(To be updated once the order is uploaded)