BS-VI non-compliant four-wheelers should not be allowed after March 31, 2020: SC told

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) The government decision to give time till June 30, 2020, to automobile manufacturers to sell their BS-VI non-compliant four-wheelers manufactured till March 31, 2020, was opposed in the Supreme Court on Monday.

Advocate Aparajita Singh, who is the amicus curiae assisting the court in a pollution case, told a bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur that people were living in a “gas chamber” and that even the foetus was getting affected by high pollution.” So, grace period should not be granted to manufacturers, she said.

She contended that the government cannot allow the citizens to die due to a health emergency. “We can live without a car, but we cannot live without breath. We are facing emergency situations.”

The car makers supported the grace period to sell their vehicles. They told the bench also comprising Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Deepak Gupta that India was leap-frogging from the BS IV emission norms to BS VI within a short span.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A.N.S Nadkarni, appearing for the Centre, said the government considered it appropriate to give three and six months to the manufacturers to sell their stock of BS-IV vehicles after April 1, 2020.

The Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) emission norm would come into force from April 1, 2020 across the country. The BS IV norms have been enforced across the country since April 2017.

The government has decided to give time till June 30, 2020 to the automobile manufacturers to sell their BS-IV compliant four-wheelers manufactured till March 31, 2020.

In case of heavy transport vehicles, the grace period has been extended by the government till September 30, 2020.

In 2016, the government had announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.

Objecting the grace period, the amicus told the bench that in a report of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, doctors have said they have not seen people having pink lungs in Delhi.

The bench also asked the ASG to place before it a copy of report of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital if it was confidential.

The court, after hearing the submissions, reserved its order on the issue whether the grace period should be given to the manufacturers to sale BS-VI non-compliant vehicles after April 1, 2020.



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