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SC bans sale of BS-IV vehicles from 2020

‘No compromise on public health’

The Supreme Court on Wednesday banned the sale and registration of motor vehicles conforming to the emission standard Bharat Stage-IV in the entire country from April 1, 2020.

It said pollution hasreached an “alarming and critical” level all over India. “It brooks no delay,” a three-judge Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur, S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta observed in a 20-page judgment.

The country will have to shift to the cleaner Bharat- VI fuel from April 1, 2020. Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The BS-IV norms have been enforced across the country since April 2017. In 2016, the Centre had announced the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.

“BSVI compliant vehicles are going to be more expensive than BSIV compliant vehicles. People have a tendency to buy cheaper vehicle(s) even from a neighbouring city. We also strongly feel that the problem of pollution is not limited to the NCR of Delhi but it is a problem which has engulfed the entire country especially the major cities. India has the dubious distinction of having 15 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world,” Justice Gupta wrote in the judgment for the Bench.

The apex court said there cannot be any compromise on the health of citizens and this has to take precedence over the “greed” of a few automobile manufacturers who want to stretch the timeline.

“Therefore, if there is a conflict between health and wealth, obviously, health will have to be given precedence,” Justice Gupta wrote.

“We are dealing here with a situation where children and unborn children suffer from pollution and issues of inter-generational equity are involved,” the judgment observed.

It said there was sufficient time for manufacturers to make BS-VI compliant vehicles.

“It is not as if on 01.04.2020 just by waving a magic wand the entire country will change to BSVI compliant norms. If all the refineries and manufacturers by taking note of the requirement to bring in BS VI fuel, have introduced such fuel from 2018 and are introducing it in a phased manner in the entire country by 31.03.2020, we see no reason why manufacturers of automobiles, two wheelers, three wheelers, etc, cannot also do so,” the Supreme Court observed. Eom

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 12:48:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-bans-sale-of-bs-iv-vehicles-from-2020/article25313685.ece

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