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TARAI FOOD LTD. Versus COMMISSIONER OF CENTRAL EXCISE, MEERUT-II

2006 (4) TMI 131 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Whether 'French Fries' should be classified under sub-headings 2001.10 or 2001.90 of Chapter 20 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985? - Held that:- There is a value attached to the brand name, a value which has been recognized in the tariff entry by providing for levy of excise duty on goods bearing a brand name. It may be that the appellant had deliberately omitted the brand name in selling the 'French Fries' to avail of the nil rate of tariff. This cannot detract from the consequences wh .....

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der]. - The question in these appeals is whether French Fries should be classified under sub-headings 2001.10 or 2001.90 of Chapter 20 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985. The two entries read as follows : Heading No. Sub-heading No. Description of goods Rate of Duty (1) (2) (3) (4) 20.01 Preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants including jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, fruit or nut puree and fruit or nut pastes, fruit juices and vegetable juices, whether or not conta .....

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under T.H. 2001.90 and no excise duty is paid. 3. The Department was of the view that the second lot of goods should also have been cleared by the appellant under T.H. 2001.10. A show cause notice was issued to the appellant seeking to levy duty which was allegedly short levied. The demand was confirmed by the Asstt. Commissioner, Central Excise. The Commissioner, however, reversed the finding of the Asstt. Commissioner and held that the packets of the French Fries which did not contain the word .....

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10 namely that the preparation described in T.H. 2001.10 must be put in unit, containers and secondly must bear a brand name. The words brand name have been defined for the purposes of Chapter 20 where these entries occur as follows : Brand name means a brand name, whether registered or not, that is to say, a name or a mark, such as a symbol, monogram, label, signature or invented words or any writing which is used in relation to a product, for the purpose of indicating, or so as to indicate, a .....

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ppearing on behalf of the appellant has relied upon the decision of this Court in Astra Pharmaceutical Pvt. Ltd. v. Collector of Central Excise, Chandigarh [1995 (75) E.L.T. 214 (S.C.)] to contend that both Asstt. Commissioner and the Tribunal were wrong in holding that the second type of packets contained a brand name. The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent, however, submitted that the definition of brand name would include the name of the manufacturer which admittedly was pr .....

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escribe particular kinds of potato chips. These descriptive words could not be treated as the brand name as the Asstt. Commissioner has purported to do. The submission of learned counsel appearing before us is that it is the manufacturer s name which is sufficient to place the second type of packets within the tariff entry 2001.10 is also unacceptable. The two tariff entries draw a distinction between unbranded and branded unit containers. This assumes that it is possible for unit containers to .....

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unbranded unit container at all in law and the distinctiveness of T.H. 2001.10 would be meaningless. 9. Furthermore the definition of the words brand name shows that it has to be a name or a mark or a monogram etc. which is used in relation to a particular product and which establishes a connection between the product and the person. This name or mark etc. cannot, therefore, be the identity of a person itself. It has to be something else which is appended to the product and which establishes th .....

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