Ranganathan, J. -
(1.)Item 26AA(iv) of the Central Excise Tariff reads as follows:
"Pipes and tubes (including blanks therefore all sorts, whether, rolled, forged, spun, cast, drawn, annealed, welded or extruded".
(2.)The appellants are engaged in the manufacture of pipe fittings such as elbows, bends and reducers. They purchase steel pips on payment of excise duty from indigenous producers from the open market and they also get steel tubes by way of import. The appellants cut the pipes and tubes into different sizes, give them into pipe fittings in their factories by heating in a furnace (at a temperature between 65 degrees C and 900 degrees C) hammering and pressing. The short question in this appeal is whether the pipe fittings so produced by the petitioners also fall under Item 26AA(iv) or whether they should be classified under tariff Item 68, which is the residuary entry.
(3.)The case of the appellants is that the products manufactured by them are also nothing but pipes and tubes and that they are being virtually asked to pay duty twice over on the same product. According to them the processes undertaken by them do not amount to manufacture and no new product has come into existence as a result of the processes employed in their factories. They say that the pipes and tubes retain their material and original character and use and they can also be had only from dealers dealing in pipes and tubes. This claim of the appellants has not been accepted by the Central Customs Excise and Gold Appellate Tribunal and hence the present appeal under Section 35L(b) of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944.