Gauhati High Court bans sale of small passenger vehicles
Gauhati High Court passed an interim order on 26 July 2015 banning the sale of all passenger vehicles up to 1,500 kg. The ban also includes quadricycles in this weight range. The interim order was passed based on petitions filed by individuals regarding the safety of small cars.
The order came into effect on 6 August 2015 with the Assam transport department sending a directive to all district transport officers. The move has caused a slump in sales for the north-eastern region as the state of Assam has been a major contributor to automotive sales in the region. A dealer source also revealed that car sales in the states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh have also been affected with all three states falling under the Gauhati High Court’s jurisdiction.
The order is a result of the Euro NCAP crash tests that were conducted in November 2014 on popular hatchbacks sold in India. Many of the car models failed to get through in the tests. The Gauhati High Court cited these tests in the interim order.
Meanwhile, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has filed an affidavit with the Gauhati High Court calling into question the ban, citing that all cars currently on sale in the country meet existing safety and emission norms. The next hearing on this matter is expected to take place by the end of August 2015.