ELGI EQUIPMENTS Vs. COLLECTOR OF CENTRAL EXCISE, COIMBATORE
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
COLLECTOR OF CENTRAL EXCISE, COIMBATORE
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(1.)The assessee assembles mobile workshops which are, in effect, workshops inside trucks. They are used at construction sites and for restoring traffic on the highways after breakdowns. Among the equipment fitted in the workshop on the truck are steel tables and steel cup-boards which are fabricated by the assessee.
(2.)The assessee was served with a notice by the Revenue which recorded that the assessee was manufacturing and clearing mobile service units falling under Tariff Item 68 after observing due formalities and paying due excise duty. The officers of the Revenue had, however, found that the assessee's unit was also "engaged in the fabrication of steel tables and steel cup-boards in their factory premises. It is ascertained that the steel tables and cup-boards are meant for Mobile Service Units." The steel tables and cupboards fell within Tariff Item 40. The assessee did not hold a licence to manufacture goods under Tariff Item 40. In the circumstances, the assessee was called upon to pay excise duty upon the steel tables and cup-boards installed in mobile workshops cleared earlier.
(3.)The assessment proposed by the show cause notice was upheld on the basis that no evidence on record was available. The determination of the fact whether these goods could be used anywhere other than in a mobile service unit would, therefore, have to be decided on the examination of circumstantial evidence. That circumstantial evidence showed that every component going into the mobile service unit was not specially designed to be a part thereof but, in fact, was general purpose equipment and was merely fitted into the service unit. On this logic, it was held that the assessee should have discharged its obligation in respect of the steel tables and cup-boards by payment of duty under Tariff Item 40. The general purpose equipment that was referred to was machinery such as drilling machines, bench grinders, electrical drillers, etc.
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