1. The appellants' claim in respect of three Reaction Glass (Jars) Vessels of 100 litres each and three Reaction Glass (Jars) Vessels of 200 litres each for use in Research & Development Unit of the appellants' factory as under heading 70.17/18 CTA as laboratory glassware was rejected by the Assistant Collector of Customs by his order dated 21-7-82. He ordered assessment under heading 70.21 CTA. In appeal of the Collector of Customs (Appeals), Bombay by his order dated 18-2-83 upheld the assessment made by the Assistant Collector and rejected the appeal. Aggrieved, the appellants filed appeal to the Tribunal.
2. In the grounds of appeal, it has been urged that the appellants Research & Development Unit is recognised as 'Laboratory' by the Department of Science & Technology Government of India. The impact was permitted only on these terms. The lower authorities rejected the appellants' claim on extranuous considerations not tenable in law.
3. We have heard Shri G.S. Phadke, Consultant in support of the appeal and Shri N.I. Ramanathan, Departmental Representative for the respondents. It may be mentioned that ground No. 4 of the Memo of Appeal states that the imported goods in the opinion of the Chief Chemist of the Customs Department, Bombay as laboratory glassware.
4. On behalf of the respondent, Shri N.I. Ramanathan, Departmental Representative has not been able to dispute this contention of the appellants. All that Shri Ramanathan stated was that he was not in possession of complete records to either admit or deny this contention.
We also note that the Collector of Customs (Appeals), Bombay also says that the imported goods are laboratory glassware but he further holds that merely on this ground it would not cease to be industrial glassware. The main ground, however, on which the appellants' claim for assessment under 84.17 was rejected by the Collector of Customs (Appeals) is that the same is ruled out in view of specific exclusion of glass item from 84.17 by the BTN explanatory notes (Pages 1163-1207). Now such exclusion is not available in the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 which is applicable and which we are following. While BTN may have a persuasive force, as held in some of the Tribunal decisions, it cannot be engrafted for all purposes into CTA. There being no inclusion to which the learned Collector of Customs (Appeals) refers in the CTA, his order on that basis cannot be upheld.5. From the orders of the lower authorities, it is clear that the goods are, in fact, being used for Research and Development Unit of the appellants. Considering all this appellants claim for assessment under heading 70.17/18 is well founded. We, therefore, accept the claim, set aside the impugned order and order assessment accordingly and allow the appeal with consequential relief to the appellants.