Decided on May 01,1998



M. Ramakrishna, Chairman - (1.) ALL these four appeals have been filed by M/s. N.C.L. Industries Limited, Hyderabad aggrieved against the dismissal orders of the learned Appellate Deputy Commissioner (CT), Secunderabad Division, Hyderabad filed against the orders of Asst. Commissioner (CT) (Int), Abids Division, Hyderabad. Since all these four appeals are filed by the same appellant and the issue involved is common, for the sake of convenience, they are heard together and are disposed off by this common order. The details are as follows: The appellants are dealers and manufacturers of ordinary portland cement, cement bonded particle board, pre -fab houses, who are assessees on the rolls of Commercial Tax Officer, M.J. Market Circle. The question that is common for all these appeals is as to whether the cement bonded particle board hereinafter referred to as CBFB is to be treated as unclassified item as claimed by the appellant or particle board made out of cement and wood particles classified as item 114 of the First Schedule to the APGST Act, 1957.
(2.) THE assessing authority verified the sample piece of CBPB and perused the literature of the product and came to the conclusion that it is a Particle -Board made of cement and wood boards liable to tax under Item 114 of the First Schedule to the APGST Act 57. Consequently, he issued pre -assessment notice on 28.2.1995, to which the appellants objected contending inter -alia that the CBPBS are general goods and cited case -law, besides referring to the Central Excise Law and contended that they are articles of cement but not articles of wood falling under entry 114 and they have to be classified as general goods. The said claim was rejected by the assessing authority. Aggrieved against the same, the appellants preferred appeals, which were disposed off by common order referred to above upholding the stand of the assessing authority and accordingly dismissed all the four appeals. Hence they have come up before us. The point for consideration is whether the CBPB Board has to be treated as unclassified item or is classifiable under item 114 of the First Schedule to the APGST Act?.
(3.) REITERATING the contentions urged before the lower authorities, it is submitted by the learned counsel for the appellant that the CBPB Boards manufactured by the appellant do not fall under item 114 of Schedule -I of the APGST Act and therefore they should be classified as unclassified items. It is submitted by the learned authorised representative that the cement bonded particles board does not fall under item No. 114 of Schedule -I to the APGST Act as about 65% of the board is cement and that the wood particles are added only to give the board workable quality of wood. Only 15 to 25 per cent of the board consists of wood particles, as such by applying the test of predominance it should have been categorised as unclassified goods. It is also his submission that entry 114 of the First Schedule to the APGST Act is patterned after the erstwhile tariff No. 16B of Central Excise Tariff Act. As it differentiates between the cement bonded boards manufactured by the appellant and the wooden particles boards, the same classification should have been followed in the appellant's case also. It is also his submission that the appellate authority erred in holding that the articles manufactured by the appellant are veneered panels whether or not containing any material other than wood.;

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