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Parts of cigarette packets - excisability/marketability - Whether parts of cigarette packets namely slides/slits (inner frame) are excisable goods within the meaning of CETA 1985? - Natural Justice.

Held that: - The ruling in the case of M/s Zupiter Printing versus Union of India [1991 (3) TMI 394 - DELHI HIGH COURT] supports the case of the appellant herein, as the issue therein was taxability of cigarette shells only manufactured by M/s Zupiter Printing by way of job work for the cigarette manufacturer. The question in that case was limited to whether the cigarette shells are excisable if they are considered as a box.

the findings of the Apex Court in the case of M/s Sonic Electrochem Private Ltd. (2002 (9) TMI 104 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA) are squarely applicable, wherein the Apex Court held that the plastic body of the EMR is specific to a particular manufacturers as per their design and logo and as such is not marketable or a product known in the market, hence not marketable.

In the facts of the present case slide/slits are not goods or product known in the market and hence not marketable.

The slide/slits in the facts of the present case are specific to the appellant as manufactured by them for their own brand separately and cannot be inter-used by other cigarettes manufacturers for their brands. In the facts of the case that the slides/slits are also not interchangeably usable by the appellant itself for its various cigarettes being manufactured under different brands. These slides/slits are not manufactured separately and or purchased from outside by any of the cigarette manufacturers including the appellant. These are manufactured in a continuous process at the stage of packing of the cigarettes by automatic machines in the course of packaging of cigarettes. There is no output which can be called as slide/slits cleared by the appellant or any cigarettes manufacturer. Accordingly, appeals are allowed with consequential benefits by holding that slides/slits are not capable of being marketable and accordingly are not excisable/dutiable.

Appeal allowed - decided in favor of appellant.





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