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2009 (8) TMI 671

..... cle chassis manufactured by them? Held that – fuel efficiency test under Notification No 462/86-C.E. can be carried out with or without standard production cab/body. Also, notification only specified that vehicle should fall under Chapter 87, which includes chassis with engine, and in absence of specific provision therein, chassis without vehicle body could not be excluded from benefit of notification. - E/973-975/2001 - 29-31/2010-EX(PB), - 20-8-2009 - Justice R.M.S. Khandeparkar, President and Shri B.S.V. Murthy, Member (T) REPRESENTED BY: Shri V. Lakshmikumaran, Advocate, for the Appellant. Shri B.K. Singh, Jt. CDR, for the Respondent. [Order per: Justice R.M.S. Khandeparkar, President (Oral)]. - Since common questions of law arid facts arise in all these three appeals, they were heard together and are being disposed of by this common order. 2. The short point which arises for consideration in these appeals is whether the appellants are entitled to claim exemption under exemption Notification No. 462/86-CE., dated 9th December 1986 as amended from time to time in respect of the vehicle chassis manufactured by them. 3. The appellants are engaged in manufacture of chassis for moto .....

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..... specific sub-heading thereunder. Being so, according to the learned Counsel, the Department was not justified in excluding the chassis which forms one of the product classifiable under the same Chapter 87 along with other types of motor vehicles. The exemption had been granted essentially as an incentive to manufacture fuel efficient light commercial motor vehicle with pay load not exceeding 4000 kg. and those falling under Chapter 87 of the Schedule to the CETA, 1985. He further submitted that even the department itself had understood the import of the said notification to include chassis and that therefore, for earlier period in 1988, by the order dated 8th February 1988, the Assistant Collector had allowed the claim of the appellants for exemption in terms of the said notification in relation to the chassis manufactured for light commercial motor vehicle, holding that the product was classifiable under sub heading 87.06. Apart from the fact that the Department having accepted their claim in that regard on proper adjudication of the issue involved in the matter, it was not open for the department to take contrary view for the subsequent period even in absence of any new fact bei .....

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..... ill have to be ascertained, it need not necessary to have body on the chassis at the time the weight of the vehicle is acertained. To overcome the difficulty in that regard, the notification itself specified the modalities for ascertaining the weight of the vehicle in such cases. He has drawn our attention to Notification No. 463/86 and has relied upon the decisions in the matter of C.C.E., Shillong v. Wood Kraft Products Ltd. reported in 1995 (77) E.L.T. 23 (S.C.); Automotive Manufacturers (P) Ltd. v. Government of Andhra Pradesh and Others etc. reported in (1972) 1 Supreme Court Cases 125; Damodar J. Mal pani v. C.C.E. reported in 2002 (146) E.L.T. 483 (S.C.); The Western India Plywoods Ltd. v. CC.E., Cochin reported in 1985 (19) E.L.T. 590 (Tribunal); Standard Pencils (P) Ltd. v. C.C.E., Madras reported in 2002 (145) E.L.T. 278 (S.C.) and Commissioner of In come Tax, Central Kanpur v. J.K. Charitable Trust reported in 2008 (232) E.L.T. 769 (S.C.). 5. On the other hand, the learned Jt. CDR submitted that the clearance of the product by the appellants was not as a complete motor vehicle but same was cleared as merely chassis and the completion of the body was left to the job worke .....

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..... isions in the matter of Tatra Trucks India Ltd. v. C.C.E., Chennai reported in 2008 (227) E.L.T. 269 (Tri. Chennai); Steel Authority of India Ltd. v. C.C.E., Bolpur, West Bengal reported in 1997 (91) E.L.T. 529 (S.C.); Rajasthan Spg. and Wvg. Mills Ltd. v. C.C.E., Jaipur re ported in 1995 (77) E.L.T. 474 (S.C.); C.C.E., Jaipur v. Mewar Bartan Nirmal Lldyog reported in 2008 (231) E.L.T. 27 (S.C.) and C.K. Gangadharan and Another v. Com missioner of Income Tax, Cochin reported in 2008 (228) E.L.T. 497 (S.C.) = 2009 (16) S.T.R. 659 (S.C.) = (2008) 8 Supreme Court Cases 739. He also submitted that merely because once the product was classifiable under a particular heading and that exemption was granted, that itself will not create right in favour of the appellants to contend that the department is forbidden from taking a different view even after taking into consideration the new facts which might have come to light subsequently 6. The Notification in question reads thus - Exemption to fuel-efficient light commercial motor vehicles. - In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-rule (1) of rule 8 of the Central Excise Rules, 1944, the Central Government hereby exempts fuel efficient lig .....

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..... of 10 runs in each direction, shall be taken for carry ing out the tests and the test figures shall be corrected to sea level altitude and to +25 degree Centigrade ambient temperature; and (e) the specific fuel consumption shall be taken as the minimum value at full load and full throttle in accordance with testing conditions stipulated in IS: 10000 (Part VIII) - 1980 and; (f) detailed fuel efficiency testing procedures shall be as specified by the Ministry of Industry (Department of Industrial Development) TABLE S. No. Description of vehicle Specific fuel consumption per KW hour not exceeding Kms. per Ltr. Of Diesel at 50 KMPH - not less than NTKMPL diesel not less than Up gradation At 40 KMPH At 60 KMPH (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) 1. Commercial Motor Vehicle of pay load not exceeding 2500 kgms. 240 gms. 115_____________ 3.64 + 1.12W Not applicable Norms specified in Col. (4) shall be upgraded by 5% with effect from 1-4-1990 2. Commercial Motor Vehicle of pay load exceeding 240 gms. Not applicable 100t 100t 3.4+ 2.7+ 1.53t 2.35t Norms specified in Col. 5 shall be upgraded by 5% with effect from 1-4-1989 Note: Where W is the GVW of the vehicle in tormes and t is the pay load in tonnes .....

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..... on cab or standard production body. In other words, the notification on the face of it contemplates as far as testing is concerned the vehicle could be with or without standard production cab or standard production body. Undoubtedly, it could be argued that the absence of standard product cab need not necessarily mean the total absence of cab or total absence of body. Further, there is neither any indication in that regard nor any further explanation in that regard in the notification itself. At the same time, in the main operative portion of the notification, it is specifically stated that such vehicle should fall under Chapter 87 but it nowhere specifies any particular sub heading of Chapter 87. Undoubtedly, Chapter 87 includes chassis fitted with engine. It is nobody s case that the exemption which was sought to be claimed for the chassis were not even road worthy. In the circumstances, therefore, considering the notification and having read it along with provisions of Chapter 87, unless any specific provision is disclosed, it is difficult to accept the contention canvassed on behalf of the Department. 9. It is pertinent to note that even the Govt. while dealing with Notificatio .....

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..... Tribunal is neither here nor there. 12. There is yet another reason which lends support to the claim of the appellants for exemption to the chassis under the said notification. Learned Counsel is justified in contending that when a generic term is used to describe the product in fiscal provisions of law, it is normally to be understood to include the product in its all forms and variants unless some materials which would justify the different view is brought to the notice. In fact, the appellants in that regard has rightly placed reliance in the decision of the Tribunal in the matter of The Western India Plywoods Ltd. wherein the decision of the Bombay High Court in the case of Commissioner of Sales Tax v. Agarwa & Co. reported in 1983 (12) E.L.T. 116 (Born.) was relied upon. The decision of the Apex Court in Standard Pencils Pvt. Ltd. was in different set off facts but also lends support to the contention of the appellants. In the Notification the expression light commercial motor vehicle is neither qualified with restrictions nor with limitation as far as it relates to the description of motor vehicle is concerned, so as to include therefrom the chassis fitted with engine. 1 .....

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