Sunday, April 2, 2017

Land Mark Hon'ble Supreme Court Order on Bharat stage IV vehicle

Land Mark  Hon'ble Supreme Court Order on Bharat Stage IV vehicles : Registration of Pollution-Free Vehicles only allowed 

What it appears to be a land mark judicial pronouncement on the issue of fundamental right  ,pollution-free air to all , which changes the lives of the people ,Right to Life means Right to pollution-free air ,of late air  pollution has engulfing almost all major cities and creating health hazards to all  ,it has been observed dangerous smoke emissions from the vehicles are the  main source of air pollution in all cities.  

 The Following Directions by Hon'ble Supreme Court on BS-IV Vehicles :

1. No registration of vehicles which do not meet requirement of  Bharat Stage -IV with effect from 1st April,2017

2. Non -BS -IV registration is allowed vehicles purchased before 31st March ,2017  


Full Text of Hon'ble Supreme Court order :

I.A.NO. 487/2017, I.A. NO. 491/2017, I.A. NO. 494/2017, I.A. NO. 489/2017, I.A. NO. 495/2017
Writ Petition(Civil) No.13029/1985
M.C.MEHTA                                          ...PETITIONER(s)

          UNION OF INDIA & ORS.                        ...RESPONDENT(s)
We have heard the learned Solicitor General, learned  Amicus  Curiae, learned counsel for the interveners who are manufacturers of vehicles(two wheelers,three wheelers,four wheelers and commercial vehicles –for short referred to as ‘such vehicles’)and learned counsel for the  association  of dealers of such vehicles.
The seminal issue in  these  applications  is  whether  the  sale  and registration and therefore the commercial interests of  manufacturers and dealers of such vehicles that do not meet the  Bharat  Stage-IV  (for  short 'BS-IV') emission standards as on 1st April, 2017 takes  primacy  over  the health hazard due to increased air pollution of  millions of our country  men and women. The answer is quite obvious.
The controversy relates to the sale and  registration  (on  and  after 1st April, 2017) of such vehicles lying in stock with the manufacturers  and dealers that meet the Bharat Stage III emission standards (for short  BS-III standards) but do not meet the BS-IV emission standards.
Briefly, according  to  the  manufacturers, they  are  entitled  to manufacture such vehicles till 31st March, 2017 and they have  done  so.  In so doing, they say that they have not violated any prohibition or  any  law.
Hence, the sale and registration of such vehicles on  and  from  1st  April, 2017  ought  not  to  be  prohibited. They  say  that  they  will  not   be manufacturing any vehicle that does  not  comply  with  the  BS-IV emission standards from and after 1st April, 2017 and therefore  the  only  issue  is the sale and registration of  the  existing  stock  of  such  vehicles  that comply with BS-III emission standards.They  say  that  they  may  be  given reasonable time to dispose of the existing stock of such vehicles.
On the other hand, according to the learned  Amicus,  permitting  such vehicles to be sold  or  registered  on  or  after  1st  April,  2017  would constitute a health hazard to millions of  our  country  men  and  women  by adding to the air pollution levels in the country (which are  already  quite alarming). It is her submission that  the  manufacturers  of  such  vehicles were fully aware, way back in 2010, that all vehicles would have to  convert to BS-IV fuel on and from 1st April, 2017 and therefore, they had more  than enough time to stop the production of BS-III compliant vehicles  and  switch over to the manufacture of BS-IV compliant  vehicles.  In  fact,  the  major manufacturer of 4 wheeler vehicles, Maruti Sazuki  had  completely  switched over to the manufacture  of  BS-IV  compliant  vehicles  a  few  years  ago.
However, for reasons best  known  to  manufacturers  of  such  vehicles  and entirely at their peril, they did not  make  a  complete  switch  (though  a partial switch has been made)  even  though  they  had  the  technology  and technical know-how to do so.  Therefore, keeping the larger public  interest in mind and the potential health hazard to millions of our country  men  and women due to increased air pollution, there is no justification for  any  of the manufacturers  not  shifting  to  the  anufacture  of  BS-IV  compliant vehicles well before 1st April, 2017.
It has been brought to our  notice  that  on  5th  January,  2016  the learned  Solicitor  General  on  behalf  of  the  Government  of  India  had submitted before this Court that requisite quality fuel for BS-IV  compliant vehicles would be available (all over the  country)  with  effect  from  1st April, 2017.[1] This was confirmed and reiterated by the  learned  Solicitor General during the course of hearing and he stated that now from 1st  April,2017 requisite quality fuel for BS-IV compliant vehicles would be  available all over the country. He  also  pointed  out  that  the  refineries  of  the Government of India had incurred an expenditure of  about  Rs.30,000  crores for producing requisite fuel for BS-IV compliant vehicles.
On balance, in our opinion,  the  submission  of  the  learned  Amicus deserves to be accepted keeping in mind the potential health hazard of such vehicles being introduced on the road affecting millions of our  people  in the country. The number of such  vehicles  may  be  small  compared  to  the overall number of vehicles in the country but 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  in  respect  of  the  so-called small number of such vehicles. The  manufacturers  of  such  vehicles  were fully aware that eventually from 1st April, 2017 they would be  required  to manufacture only BS-IV compliant vehicles  but  for  reasons  that  are  not clear, they chose to sit back and declined  to  take  sufficient  pro-active steps.

Accordingly, for detailed reasons that will follow,we direct that:
(a)On and  from  1st  April, 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 in  India  by  any  manufacturer  or dealer on and from 1st April, 2017.
(b)All the vehicle registering authorities under the Motor Vehicles  Act, 1988 are prohibited for registering such vehicles on  and  from  1st  April, 2017 that do not meet BS-IV emission standards, except on proof that such  a vehicle has already been sold on or before 31st March,2017.As mentioned above,detailed reasons  for  the  above  order  will  be given in due course.
MARCH 29, 2017
[2]               M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (2016) 4 SCC 269

Courtesy : Supreme court of India Website 

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