In a classic case of brazen misuse of authority and harassment, a Kerala RTO allegedly refused to register a BS6 vehicle. And it's not because of lockdown or anything to do with COVID-19.
Sometime last month (April 2020), the buyer of a Mercedes-Benz GLE approached the Kothamngalam RTO to register his new SUV. However, the RTO told him that they cannot register it as a BS6 vehicle. They said they don't recognise the SUV as a BS6 compliant vehicle.
The owner of the Mercedes-Benz GLE even obtained the Form 20 (which mentions the applicable emission standard) from Mercedes-Benz. The form lucidly mentions that the new GLE is BS4 as well as BS6 compliant. There is no ambiguity. However, the RTO still refused to accept it as a BS6 vehicle.
Thereafter, the owner received communication from the RTO asking him to register the vehicle before April 30, 2020, or he would not be able to register it ever. According to the last information, the SUV was still not registered and was carrying a temporary registration number.
It must be noted that Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer to launch a BS6 car in India. The company had launched the BS6 S-Class in January 2018--more than two years before the actual BS6 deadline. In fact, that car also earns the distinction of being the first BS6 car to be assembled in India.
BS6 GLE was launched in January 2020
Thereafter, every Mercedes-Benz model launched in India has been BS6 compliant. The BS6 GLE was launched recently, in January 2020. There are two GLE models available—300 d (four-cylinder diesel) and 400 d (six-cylinder diesel). The former is priced at Rs 73.70 lakh while the latter costs Rs 1.25 crore. Both prices are ex-showroom, PAN India.
As per the government's directive, no BS4 model could be sold/registered in India after March 31, 2020. However, there were no restrictions in registering a BS6 vehicle before April 1, 2020. We are trying to reach the owner for comment and shall update this story once get the information. We just hope that the owner stood his ground and didn't give in to the RTO's unreasonable demand of registering the GLE as a BS4 vehicle.
UPDATE: We've got information that the RTO finally registered it as a BS6 vehicle.