Decided on November 15,1991



S. Kalyanam, Member (J) - (1.) THIS reference application is directed against the order of the Tribunal dated 2 -3 -1989. The learned Counsel Shri Saravanan mainly contended that the goods imported by the applicant viz. Thiamine Mononitrate cannot be construed to be Vitamin -Bl and a question of law would arise in this regard and further, the Customs authorities were permitting clearance of identical goods earlier and therefore a question of law would arise in regard to the above point.
(2.) HEARD Shri Namasivayam, the learned D.R.
(3.) WE have considered the submissions made before us. This issue has been considered in extenso in the order of the Bench dated 14 -10 -1983 in Order No. 124/80 and the Bench has observed as under : - "7. The British Pharmacopoeia (Vol. I) refers to Thiamine Hydrochloride and calls it a component of Vitamin -B. In Vol. II, in dealing with preparations, it refers to Thiamine Hydrochloride injection and Thiamine Hydrochloride tablets explaining that they are respectively Vitamin -Bl injection and Vitamin -Bl tablets. This, no doubt, is evidence to conclude that Thiamine Hydrochloride is a Vitamin -Bl but it does not necessarily imply that another compound of Thiamine is not also Vitamin -Bl, McGraw -Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (2nd Edition) refers to Thiamine itself as follows: "Thiamine : A member of the Vitamin B complex that occurs in many natural sources, frequently in the form of cocarboxylase. Also known as aneurline; vitamin Bl". This would suggest that what is treated as Vitamin -Bl is Thiamine proper and not necessarily any of its derivatives. 8. The condensed Chemical Dictionary (10th Edition) also refers to Thiamine as follows: "Thiamine (vitamin B -1); The antineuritic vitamin essential for growth and the prevention of beriberi. It functions in intermediate carbo hydrate metabolism in coenzyme form in the decarboxylation of alpha - keta acids." It also states that Thiamine is available as Thiamine Hydrochloride and Thiamine Mononitrate. The B.T.N. speaks about Thiamine and its salts and refers to Thiamine as Vitamin -B1. From the above, it would be seen that what is considered as Vitamin -B1 in technical parlance is Thiamine simplicitor. But for practical purposes in formulary, it is used as one salt or other of Thiamine. The Pharmacopoeia of India, 1966, referred to by the appellant, describes Thiamine Mononitrate as vitamin B. As we have seen just now the active ingredient in Thiamine Mononitrate is Thiamine; if it were to be accepted as Vitamin B, it can only be as Vitamin -Bl and nothing else. 9. At the time of hearing we had enquired of the appellant as to the use of which Thiamine Mononitrate imported by them was put. They indicated that it was sold to Pfizer Limited, Bombay to make "Becosules" capsules and "Multivitaplex Forte" capsules, samples of which were produced for inspection. "Becosules" is described as a preparation containing Vitamin B and Vitamin C. It contains Thiamine Mononitrate as such along with other vitamins. There is no other salt of Thiamine in it. In the same way, in 'Multivitaplex Forte' capsules also the only component relatable to Vitamin B1 is Thiamine Mononitrate, again used as such. Thus, it is found that in practice Thiamine Mononitrate is used in India as a Vitamin -B1 by a recognised Pharmaceutical company to whom the goods are said to have been sold by the importer. 10. In the light of above, it is clear that Thiamine Mononitrate is a Vitamin -B1 whose importation is not permitted to an export house unless it is against licence linked to exports of Vitamin B1 tablets." Following the ratio of the above decision, we uphold the findings of the Tribunal in the impugned order which are in appreciation of evidence.;

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