Decided on November 19,1991

Brakes India Ltd Appellant


G.A. Brahma Deva, Member (J) - (1.) THIS is an appeal preferred against the Order -in -Appeal No. C3/421/1984 dated 24 -11 -1984 passed by the Collector of Customs (Appeals), Madras.
(2.) THE appellants imported brake linings which were assessed to duty under Item 68.01/16(a) as articles of asbestos. Subsequently, refund application was filed by the appellants claiming for re -assessment under Heading 87.01. This claim was rejected by the Assistant Collector on the ground that "the goods are linings made of asbestos not mounted. They are therefore to be treated as Asbestos' manufacture covered by the specific Heading 68.01/16." This view was upheld by the Collector (Appeals) relying upon the Explanatory Notes to the respective headings and observing that 'from the composition of the goods and the examination of the sample, it would more readily be identifiable as a manufacture of asbestos than as an identifiable component part of agricultural tractor. Hence, this appeal.
(3.) SRI Rangaswamy, learned counsel, for the appellants submitted that both the authorities below erred in proceeding that imported item is not mounted and Explanatory notes to the BTN relating to Item 87.04/06 specifically includes only mounted linings. He said that mounting or non -mounting has no relevance to decide the issue as there was no mention of these terms in the tariff entry and when the expression in the tariff item is very clear, there is no need to resort to the Explanatory notes for the interpretation, as Explanatory notes have only persuasive value. He said that only the condition to be satisfied is that the article should be a specially designed part as specified in the Item 87.04/06(2). The article imported is a complete finished item which can be fitted to the brake assembly, as it is without further manipulation and in the literature' "Illustration size and type" of International Agricultural Tractor the lining part number also has been specified against rear. Since the article imported is an integral component of the brake assembly of the Agricultural tractor, this should be appropriately classified under Item 87.04/06(2). He contended that Item 68.01/06 - Articles of asbestos is a general description, whereas Item 87.04/06(2) is a specific item covering the parts designed for articles covered by Item 87.01(1) (Agricultural Tractors). He argued that since this item is classifiable under specific item, it cannot be classified under residuary item and since this has essential character of brake assembly of Agricultural Tractor, this should be classified as part of the Agricultural tractor. He referred to the decisions of the Tribunal in the case of M/s. Sundaram Clayton Ltd., Madras v. Collector of Customs, Madras - 1983 (13) E.L.T. 966 (Tri.) and the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Dunlop India Ltd. & Madras Rubber Factory Ltd. v. Union of India & Others - 1983 (13) E.L.T. 1566. He said that since the item in question has no other alternate use and in the condition in which it is imported can only be fitted to the brake assembly and based on the essential character of the part, this should be classifiable under the head under which complete or finished article is classifiable as per Rule 2(a) of the Interpretation Rules. Shri S.K. Roy, learned D.R. while arguing for the Department justified the action of the authorities below in classifying item in question under Heading 68.01/16. He drew our attention to the reasonings given by the Collector (Appeals) in the impugned order and said that these reasonings were guided by the respective tariff entries and further as per explanation given in the Explanatory notes to the respective headings. He contended that there is no other entry which specifies this item except Item 68 which covers specifically. He said that this is not a part of the main article as contended by the appellants' counsel but only a part of the sub -assembly to assemble to fit in the complete article and, as such, it is classifiable under Heading 68.01/16 C.T.A.;

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