India's apex dealer body, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), has once again approached the Supreme Court and filed an application. It seeks modification in Writ Petition No 13029 of 1985 in the matter of MC Mehta vs Union of India & Others, dated October 24, 2018 whereby it has been directed that “no motor vehicle conforming to emission standard Bharat Stage 6 shall be sold or registered in the entire country with effect from April 1, 2020.”
FADA president Ashish Harsharaj Kale said, “Post our initial application, necessitated due to huge unsold BS4 inventory and slowing sales, getting rejected by the apex court on February 14, 2020, there has been a drastic change in circumstances in conducting business as usual. SARS-CoV-2 aka coronavirus (COVID-19), which emerged in Wuhan in the Hubei province of China has spread rapidly across the globe and also in India.”
Kale said that the impact of COVID-19 has made its presence felt in India too, and in the past week there has been “drastic drop in sales and customer walk-ins have reduced to a trickle as caution sets in due to fear of spreading of the virus.” FADA states that “counter sales has fallen by 60-70 percent across auto dealerships in the last few days.”
In fact, in the last 3-4 days, the situation faced by the dealer community has only worsened with the partial lockdown situations in many towns, cities and the FADA president says, “Few District Magistrates have started issuing notices of closure of shops and establishments, including auto dealerships, to stop the spread of virus.”
“Owing to situations which are beyond our control and the fact that many of our members may face dealership closures if left over with unsold BS4 stocks, FADA has once again approached the Supreme Court with a request for permission of sale and registration of BS4 vehicles till May 31, 2020 and hopes to get an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court owing to the criticality of the issue and the deadline of March 31, approaching fast,” he concluded.