(1.) BEING dissatisfied with the rejection of the rebate claim, the appellants have filed their present appeal.
(2.) SHORTLY put the facts of the case are that, the appellants inter alia manufactures and sells sugar falling under Tariff Item I of the First Schedule to the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944. The Central Government issued Notification No. 146/74 -CE dated 12.10.1974, inter alia granting an exemption in respect of the duty of excise leviable on sugar produced during the period commencing on 1.12.1974 and ending on 30.9.1975 which was in excess of the average production of the corresponding period of the preceding five sugar years. It is the case of the appellants that pursuant to the aforesaid exemption Notification, the appellants filed their rebate claim for a certain amount. On receipt of the rebate claim, the Superintendent of Central Excise, informed the appellants that their said claim has been sanctioned to the extent of Rs. 10,74,590.61. The appellants received the same reserving their right to file an appeal for the differential amount. It appears that, thereafter the appellants thought that the initial claim made by them had been made on an erroneous mistaken interpretation of the said Notification. Accordingly, they filed their revised rebate claim for, an amount of Rs. 21,31,119.80, stating that since they had already received an amount of Rs. 10,74,590.61, the balance amount of rebate of Rs. 10,56,521.19 should be given to them. However, this rebate claim was rejected by the Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Meerut, vide his Adjudication Order dated 5.11.1980 observing as follows "thus in Sl. No. 2 of the table appended to the Notification, exemption has been granted to the sugar produced in excess of the average production of the corresponding period of the preceding five years. The various slabs for the exemption are specified in sub -serial No. (a) to (e) when one reads the sub clauses with the broad thinking of Sl. No. 2 namely 'In excess of average production'. It would be clear that the percentage specified are in relation to the average production only. The fact that Sl. No. 2 provides exemptions to the quantity of sugar in relation to the average production only. The fact that Sl. No. 2 provides exemptions to the quantity of sugar in excess of the average production coupled with the language used under the sub. serial Nos. (a) to (e) would show that the percentages specified in the sub -serials nos. are with reference to the average production only otherwise the recording of the sub -serial number (a) to (e) would have been different". Against that Order of the Assistant Collector, the appellants filed their appeal before the Collector of Central Excise (Appeals), New Delhi, but without success. Hence the present appeal.
(3.) ARGUING on behalf of the appellants, Shri Ashok Sagar, learned counsel, submitted that the interpretation put forth by the authorities below of Sl. No. 2 of the Table appended to Notification No. 146/74 is erroneous. Elaborating on his submission, he submitted that under the said Notification, the rebate is computable in regard to the percentages of the excess production during the relevant year and not in regard to percentages of average production of the previous five years, and cited the following cases -
(1) India Sugars and Refineries Ltd. v. Union of India .
(2) Shakti Sugars Ltd. v. Union of India
(3) Triveni Engineering Works Ltd v. Union of India
(4) Paravara Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd v. Union of India 1984 ECR 59, (Bombay High Court) (5) Deccan Sugar and Abkari Co. Ltd. v. Collector of Central Excise, Madras 1984 (14) ELT 2430 (Tribunal) 3.1 After citing the aforesaid cases, he submitted that the ratio of the aforesaid decision rendered by the Karnataka High Court and Madras High Court in the case of India Sugars and Refineries Ltd., supra, and Shakti Sugars Ltd., supra, was followed by this Tribunal in the case of Bhopal Sugar Industries Ltd., Sehor (MP) v. Collector of Central Excise, Nagpur 1983 ECR 1880D. He also added that the Andhra Pradesh High Court has very recently taken the same view in the case of Challapalli Sugars Ltd. v. Union of India . He also submitted that the Madras High Court has reiterated the same view in the case of Union of India v. Aruna Sugars Ltd. , relying upon the case of India Sugars and Refineries Ltd v. Union of India, supra. Finally he cited the case of Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd. v. Collector of Central Excise, Allahabad, , wherein this Tribunal relying upon the earlier decisions rendered in the case of Bhopal Sugar Industries Ltd, 1983 ECR 1880 -D and Deccan Sugar and Abkari Co. Ltd., supra, reiterated the same view.
In the light of the aforesaid case law, Shri Ashok Sagar, learned Counsel for the appellants, submitted that the rebate claim filed by the appellants be allowed.;