The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to review its ban on sale of non-BSIV vehicles in India from April 1, 2017. SIAM says its petition pointed out certain facts that were not covered in the judgment and had influenced the court to pass the order.
One was that the court erroneously construed an Office Memorandum from the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, dated 3rd March 2017, to be an Office Memorandum dated 3rd March, 2015, i.e. two years earlier in holding that the Government had sent a clear message to the manufacturers to stop production of BS-III vehicles before 1st April 2017.
On March 29, an SC ruling upheld the ban, leading to the carmaker’s in India dishing out huge discount to sell existing BS-III stocks that would be deemed unsaleable after the deadline. Currently, manufacturers are sitting on an inventory of over 1,40,000 BS-III vehicles of over ₹5,600 crore in value. Two-wheeler manufacturers and commercial vehicle makers were hit the hardest by the ruling.
SIAM states that according to the government assurance given three weeks before the judgment, the unsold stocks of BS-III vehicles manufactured before April 1 would be permitted to be sold and registered even after the deadline as was done when BS-II and BS-III norms were implemented. "Acting on the representations made on such clarification issued by the Government of India as late as in March 2017, as well as the plain reading of the rules, the manufacturers had a reasonable and legitimate expectation that unsold inventories of BS-III stocks could be sold even after April 1, 2017, and until such stocks were exhausted," says a statement released by SIAM.
SIAM also highlighted that the introduction of BS-IV emission norm and its extension to all parts of the country is entirely dependent on the nation’s ability to provide BS-IV fuel. "The Hon’ble Court has erred in holding the BS-IV roadmap was for the convenience of the vehicle manufacturers, pointing out that the roadmap to vehicle manufacturers was known from 2010, which is not true, and this presents the auto industry in a wrong light," SIAM statement says.