Arijit Pasayat, J. -
(1.)In this appeal under Section 130-E of the Customs Act, 1962 (in short the 'Act'), the only question that falls for adjudication is whether Karbate Tubes made of artificial graphite impregnated with Phenolic resin which are parts of Heat exchangers are classifiable under Tariff Item : sub-heading 6815.10 in First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (in short 'Tariff Act') as held by the Revenue or under sub-heading 8419.50 as claimed by the assessee-importer.
(2.)Factual scenario needs to be noted in brief. Orders were placed by the assessee on a foreign manufacturer for supply of 14700 Karbate Tubes which were supplied during April and July, 1992. An order was passed by the Assistant Collector of Customs (Appraising Group III) classifying the goods under Chapter heading 68.15 and sub-headings 6815.10, whereby the demand raised by the Appraiser was confirmed. Appeal filed before the Collector (Appeals) did not bring any relief to the assessee. Matter was carried in further appeal before the Customs, Excise and Gold Control Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi (in short 'Tribunal'). As there was difference in view between two members of the Tribunal, the matter was referred to a larger Bench which by the impugned order dated 24-11-1997 held that the goods were rightly classified under Chapter 68 and not Chapter 84. The main ground which appears to have been pressed before the Tribunal by the assessee was that the Karbate Tubes which are made of artificial graphite cannot be classified under tariff heading 68.15, as according to it, same applies only to natural graphite. The Tribunal did not find any substance in his plea. Reference was made to the Harmonized System Nomenclature (in short 'HSN') and it observed that Karbate Tubes made of artificial graphite being non-electric articles made of graphite fall under Chapter sub-heading 6815.10. It was further held that though this is a part of machinery which may otherwise attract sub-heading 8419.50, but the same is not applicable in view of the exclusion in Note 1(a) of Chapter 84.
(3.)In support of the appeal, learned counsel for the assessee-appellant submitted that the tubes in question are classifiable under Chapter 84 as parts of heat exchangers, are not excluded by Note 1(a) of Chapter 84, and are to be classified under Entry 84.19. With reference to the Note 1(a) of Chapter 84, it is submitted that by application of the ejusdem generis principles, only such articles which are similar to millstones or grindstones are excluded. In reply, learned Attorney General submitted that the language of the provision in question is clear, and if the interpretation sought to be put by the assessee is accepted, it would mean a complete transformation of the provision by addition/deletion of certain words, which is not permissible.