Supreme Court allows registration of BS4 vehicles sold before April 1, 2020

Tuhin Guha Published: December 02, 2021, 10:53 AM IST

In a big respite to customers and dealers, the Supreme Court has stated that BS4 vehicles which were sold before April, 2020 and have had their sales details uploaded to the e-Vahan must be registered by transport authorities of all states. This comes after the switch to BS6 norms in the midst of the first COVID19 wave left scores of BS4 vehicles unregistered given the restrictions in place. This expands on a previous order from the Court that allowed the registration of BS4 vehicles sold before the lockdown.

As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways(MoRTH), 11 lakh vehicles were sold in the country between March 12 and March 31, 2020, with 2.5 lakh vehicles sold between March 29 and March 31. According to the numbers submitted by FADA, the body's member dealers had sold 94,000 vehicles and non-members sold 1.3 lakh units after March 31. It is estimated that 17,000 vehicles had not been registered on the portal. These vehicles will not be registered given the Court's direction mandates that only those vehicles in the e-Vahan database will be considered.

Photo by Ryan Searle on Unsplash

The Supreme Court further stated that all BSIV CNG vehicles will have to be registered by transport authorities. This order comes after the Delhi transport department had refused to register BS4 CNG vehicles sold before April 1, 2020, bundling them under the same category as petrol and diesel vehicles. The rationale behind this decision comes from the fact that these vehicles already fall below the current permissible emission limits.

India moved to the more stringent BS6 emission norms for all vehicles on April 1, 2020. The transition from BS4 to BS6 was a significant one given the large difference in emission standard permitted in the new norms as well as new criteria like significantly reduced Nox emissions and on-board diagnostics leading to manufactures having to significantly re-engineer their powertrains. This shift has also led to a change in buyer preference, the gap in price for diesel and petrol engines has increased further, leading to diesel vehicles losing favour first to petrol engines and more recently to EVs.

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