The Supreme Court on Friday said the sales of banned BS-IV vehicles was “abnormally high” during the lockdown period and something “fraudulent” had gone on.
A Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra wondered how such a huge volume of sales was done when showrooms had remained closed. The oral remarks came in response to an affidavit filed by the Union Ministry of Transport, which detailed the heightened sale and registration of these vehicles during the lockdown period.
The court asked the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) to explain the spurt in BS-IV vehicle sales. It asked FADA to show the number of transactions which took place online and through showrooms. The court listed the case for August 13.
On July 8, the court had recalled the March 27 order by which it had allowed the sale of BS-IV vehicles for 10 days across India, except in Delhi-NCR, after lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown. The apex court was irked over the violation of its March 27 order. It learnt that automobile dealers were selling BS-IV vehicles during the lockdown in last week of March and beyond.
The court had given them the 10-day window to sell 10% of their BS-IV stock on the express condition that they would not do business in violation of the lockdown. However, the court came to know that many dealers continued to sell their stock besides cashing in on the 10-day window.
On Friday, the court made it clear that no BS-IV vehicle should be registered till the court learns the truth.
“You are in great trouble. We will prosecute somebody… We will take appropriate action against these fellows,” Justice Mishra said, referring to the surge in the number of vehicles sold especially on March 29, 30 and 31.
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