Decided on June 14,1963

Bilba Paper Private Ltd Appellant
P Barman Respondents


- (1.)The petitioner company carry on business, inter alia , as importers of paper and paper board. In November, 1952, the petitioner company imported 143 and 163 bales respectively declared as white antique laid printing paper and white glazed news printing paper. According to the petitioner company, the imported paper and paper board contained not less than 70 per cent mechanical wood pulp, weighed more than 40 grams per square metre and as such fell under item 44 of the Import Trade Control Policy Book for the licensing period July to December, 1952. Item 44 is set out below :
"Printing paper which contains mechanical wood pulp amounting to not less than 70% of the fibre content and weighs not less than 40 grams per square metre (news print)".

Further, according to the petitioner company, the imported goods also fell within entry 44 read with item 3 of the foot note in the first schedule of the Indian Customs Tariff (36th issue), in force at the relevant time. The said entry is quoted below :

"44. Paper all sorts not otherwise specified, nature of duty, revenue, Standard rate of duty 39 3 8 % ad

valorem ".

The foot note to the said Entry 44 is as under :

"Under Government of India, Finance Department (Central Revenues), Notification No. 33, dated 22nd June, 1935 as amended subsequently, the following classes of Printing paper containing mechanical wood pulp amounting to not less than 70% of the fibre content are exempt from payment of so much of the import duty as is in excess of the amount mentioned against each :

(1) News print in reels, unglazed or machine finished, Re. 1 9-1/5 per cwt.

(2) Newsprint in reels, other sorts Re. 1 13-3/5 per cwt.

(3) All sorts not in reels (exclusive of chrome, marble, flint, poster, stereo and art paper). White or grey ......... Rs. 2 1 3/5 per cwt."

(2.)The petitioner company filed two bills of entry, on November 8, 1952, giving therein the description of goods as hereinbefore stated and stating therein that the goods were assessable to duty under item 3 of the footnote to entry 44 of the Indian Customs Tariff.
(3.)On the basis of the bill of entry, the Customs Authorities allowed the petitioner company to clear one-half of the quantity of goods imported, namely 82 bales out of the consignment of 163 bales and 92 bales out of the consignment of 143 bales. The remaining bales were detained and samples were drawn therefrom, firstly, for ascertainment of the correctness of the description of the imported goods, given in the bills of entry, by testing the percentage of mechanical wood pulp and weight per square metre and, secondly, for ascertainment of the correct rate of duty payable thereon. On test the goods were found to be in accordance with the bills of entry and were released on payment of duty as in item 3 of the foot-note to entry 44 of the Indian Customs Tariff. It is, however, stated in paragraph 7 of the affidavit-in-opposition that,
"Due to inadvertance or error of misconstruction on the part of the officers of Customs or through misstatement as to description on the part of the petitioner no test was made at that stage to verify the petitioners' allegations in the said bills of entry that the paper was printing or news printing paper and of soft size".

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