The Supreme Court on Friday directed that no Bharat Stage-IV vehicles should be registered with the authorities till the matter of their sale during lockdown is decided, PTI reported.

On July 8, the top court had recalled its March 27 order that provided automobile dealers 10 days’ time, immediately after the coronavirus-induced lockdown is lifted, to sell only 10% of their stock of BS-IV emission norm compliant vehicles. In 2018, the court had banned the sale of BS-IV vehicles from April 1, 2020. The court had allowed the 10-day leeway to the dealers, except those in Delhi and the National Capital Region, to sell their inventory because of the sudden imposition of nationwide lockdown. The order was recalled as the sales figures submitted by dealers showed that more vehicles were sold during the lockdown in March, against the court’s decision.

A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari asked the automobile dealers’ association to submit details of vehicles sold either online or through direct sale during the lockdown period in the last week of March. “You are in great trouble,” the court told the counsel appearing for the association. “We will prosecute somebody.”

The judges said appropriate action will be taken against sale of vehicles and violation of the court order. The matter will be heard next on August 13.

The Bharat Stage standards instituted by the government are to regulate emission of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The higher the Bharat Stage category, the less polluting the vehicle. The country has followed the Bharat Stage-IV norms since April 2017 and has now switched to BS-VI now.