B.K. ROY Vs. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS
CUSTOMS EXCISE AND GOLD(CONTROL) APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS
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P.K. Kapoor, Member (T) -
(1.) THIS is an appeal against Order No. Cal -Cus. 1866/83 dated 31 -8 -1983 passed by the Collector (Appeals), Calcutta. The facts of the case are that the appellant on return to India from U.K. imported a Volvo (1977) Saloon Car against CCP No. P/J/0329062 dated 9 -11 -1981. For arriving at the assessable value of the car the Assistant Collector took into account the letter dated 6 -5 -1982 addressed to the appellant by M/s. Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden stating that the retail price of the car in 1977 was SEK 42900. On the retail price of the car indicated in the manufacturers' letter, the Assistant Collector allowed a discount of 15%. He also allowed a depreciation of 55% on account of the use of the car in U.K. during the period May, 1977 to December, 1982. For arriving at the CIF value, the Assistant Collector added to the depreciated value, of the car a sum of Rs. 9,176.20 on account of the estimated freight from London to Calcutta. After adding 1/8% on account of insurance, he worked out the assessable value of the car as Rs. 31,193.93.
(2.) THE appellant challenged the assessable value of the car as determined by the Assistant Collector in his appeal before the Collector (Appeals), on the grounds that the assessment of the car ought to have been based on the 'Ex -works' price of the car instead of the retail price. In this regard the appellant filed a letter dated 17 -1 -1982 from M/s. Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden stating that it was not their practice to communicate the 'ex -works' price to any one except their dealers. They, however, added that the closest price to ex -factory price in March, 1977 was the price of SEK 27,400 for rhd -244 DL car, applicable to purchasers entitled to tax -exemption. The appellant also claimed that on the basis of the actual use of the car before importation, the depreciation ought to have been worked out to 58% instead of 55%. They also claimed that the freight taken into account for arriving at the assessable value was excessive since in 1982 the freight for shipment of the car from Sweden to India was about Rs. 7000/ -. However, in the impugned order the Collector (Appeals) rejected the claim for re -assessment of the car.
(3.) ON behalf of the appellants we heard the learned advocate Shri N.L. Banerjee. He contended that the assessable value of the vehicle ought to have been determined on the basis of the 'ex -works' price indicated in the letter dated 17 -1 -1982 from M/s. Volvo Car Corporation since the relevant World Car Price catalogue was not available. He claimed that having regard to the actual use of the car the depreciation of 55% allowed by the Assistant Collector was inadequate. He further contended that the actual freight for shipment of the car from Sweden, the country of manufacture to India was only Rs. 7000/ -. In support of his case Shri Banerjee cited the following decisions of the Tribunal: -
(i) Prem Kumar v. Collector of Customs - 1989 (40) E.L.T. 340 (ii) B.J. Singh v. Collector of Customs - 1990 (45) E.L.T. 474 (iii) Satya Prakash Agnihotri v. Collector of Customs - 1990 (47) E.L.T. 614.
On behalf of the Revenue, the learned JDR Shri Satish Kumar placed reliance on the order passed by the Collector (Appeals). He stated that the price of SEK 27,400 indicated in the letter dated 17 -1 -1982 from M/s. Volvo Corporation could not be deemed as the 'ex -works' price of the car, since that was a special price available only to privileged persons entitled to tax -free import. He added that there was no evidence as regards the actual freight for shipment of the car at the relevant time from Sweden to Calcutta. He also contended that having regard to the actual condition of the car at the time of import, the depreciation of 55% worked out by the Assistant Collector was adequate.;
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