New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ordered a complete ban on the sale and registration of Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) vehicles in the country from April 1, 2020, said reports on Thursday. A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also ruled that only BS-VI vehicles will be allowed after the deadline. It added, “It is an established principle of law that the right to life, as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, includes the right to a decent environment. It includes within its ambit the right of a citizen to live in a clean environment.” (Also read: Proposed Khurja Plant Will Add to Pollution, Says Report)

The Bharat Stage (BS) emission standards have been put in place to regulate the output of air pollutants from a vehicle. In fact, the difference between BS-IV and BS-VI is in the amount of sulphur in the fuel with the latter estimated to bring down sulphur content by almost 80 per cent. Emphasising the benefits of moving to BS-VI, the court said on Wednesday, “Once BS-VI emission norms are enforced, there will be a 68% improvement in PM 2.5. It is a vast improvement and the faster it is brought, the better it is.”

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers had sought time to sell stocks of non-BS-VI compliant vehicles. The court said, “If there is a conflict between health and wealth, obviously, health will have to be given precedence.”

BS-IV compliant vehicles were made compulsory with effect from April 1, 2007. And on July 23 this year, the Centre had told the Court that the manufacture and sale of vehicles not complying with BS-VI norms should be banned from April 1, 2020, when BS-VI auto fuels will be available in the entire country.

Meanwhile, vehicle owners will have to pay a GST of 18 per cent to get their vehicles checked for pollution, the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) has said. The Goa bench of the AAR passed the ruling on an application filed by Venkatesh Automobiles on whether the service provided for issuing ‘Pollution Under Control’ (PUC) certificate on behalf of the state government is exempted from the Goods and Services Tax.