1. This appeal is against the order of the Collector, Central Excise, New Delhi, dated 8-6-1983, by which he confirmed the orders of the Assistant Collector, Faridabad, which demanded Central Excise Duty of Rs. 24,500/- from the appellants.
2. The appellants, manufacturer of tractors, recovered over and above the price declared in the price-list an amount of Rs. 2,45,000/- on account of publicity and propaganda charges during the period 1-1-1979 to 31-12-1979 from their authorised dealers. The Assistant Collector held that these charges should not be excluded from the assessable value and demanded duty. One of the contentions of the appellants before the Assistant Collector was that the demand was time-barred. The Assistant Collector, however, was of the view that the failure of the appellants to inform the department about the collection of these amounts amounted to suppression of material fact. Therefore, the Assistant Collector held that the period of limitation would be five years and not six months. The Appellate Collector took a similar view.
3. It is now argued by the appellants that the demand is time barred on account of two reasons : one is that there is no suppression of facts or mis-statement by the appellants who were under the bona fide belief that these amounts need not have been included in the assessable value in the light of veri-ous judicial pronouncements at the relevant time.
The second ground is that the show cause notice did not make any allegation of suppression of facts or mis-statements.
4. The learned Departmental Representative Shri Anand submitted that the Assistant Collector considered the aspect of time bar of the show cause notice though the notice did not contain allegations of suppression of facts or mis-statement in so many words clearly to indicate them. He further argued that the assessable value is that which is declared in the price-list and inasmuch as the appellants did not declare the amount of Rs. 50/- per tractor as part of the price in the price-list, there was suppression of facts to this extent.
Alternatively, it would become a mis-statement of value.
5. I have considered the arguments of both sides. The Department did not proceed on the basis that the appellants did not make a full and true declaration in the price list. At no stage did the authorities consider the veracity of the price list with reference to the charge of Rs. 50/- per tractor collected by the appellants. The finding that there were separate invoices also does not appear to be correct inasmuch as copies of invoices filed before me show that the amount of Rs. 50/- which is publicity charges has been included in the main invoice itself. The other side did not file any invoices to show that separate and undeclared invoices were raised by the appellants.
6. In a number of cases it has been held that when normal period of limitation, viz., six months is sought to be extended to five years, detailed allegations must be made so that the assessee has a chance to defend himself against the allegations. In this case no such allegations were made in the show cause notice and it was Rule 10 which was invoked. Rule 9 cited in the show cause notice is not relevent to the present case as these was no clandestine removal.
7. In the circumstances I hold that no case has been made out by the Revenue for enlargement of the normal time-limit to five years. The period of demand in this case was for 1-1-1979 to 31-12-1979 and the show cause notice was issued on 10-6-1980. The demand is ordered to be modified so that the duty will be charged only for six months prior to the date of the show cause notice. The appeal is allowed in these terms.