SC bans BS-III vehicles, auto industry stuck with inventory worth Rs.12, 000 crore

  • In an unexpected and unprecedented move, the Supreme Court has ordered ban on (Bharat Stage) BS-III vehicles from April 1, saying that all the vehicles must now be BS-IV compliant. This is accordance with the government deadline to adopt the new emissions cycle pan-India.

    Indian automobile makers are now, in a race against time to clear inventory. They are left with just three days in which they are required to dispose of hundreds of thousands of BS-III vehicles.

    A bench consisting of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta ordered, “On and from April 1, 2017, such vehicles that are not BS-IV compliant shall not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer, that is to say that such vehicles, whether two-wheeler, three- wheeler, four-wheeler or commercial vehicles will not be sold.”

    The court further prohibited registration of vehicles meeting BS-III standards on and from April 1. “All the vehicle registering authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, are prohibited from registering such vehicles on and from April 1, 2017, that do not meet BS-IV emission standards, except on proof that such a vehicle has already been sold on or before March 31, 2017,” the court directed.

    The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had submitted data on the manufacturing and sale of BS-III vehicles on a monthly basis from January 2016 and told the court that the companies were holding stock of 8.24 lakh vehicles.

    The Court further said “The health of the people is far, far more important than the commercial interests of the manufacturers or the loss that they are likely to suffer.”

    The move has been celebrated by environmentalists and the EPCA, which had even called for a meeting with the auto industry in October 2016 to assess the industry’s readiness to move to BS IV across India. 


    The decision of the Supreme Court was unforeseen but it is definitely in favor of larger interest of the public. There is a potential health hazard to millions people in our country due to continued use of BS-III vehicles and consequentially increased air pollution. There is no justification for any of the manufacturers for not shifting to the manufacture of BS-IV compliant vehicles which are less polluting and more efficient.

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