1. Appeal under Section 35-B of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 praying that in the circumstances stated therein, the Tribunal will be pleased to set aside the order of the Collector of Central Excise, Madras, ordering recovery of refund of Rs. 12,681.37 granted by the Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Pondicherry.
2. This appeal coming up for orders upon perusing the records and upon hearing the arguments of Shri P.C. Srinivasan, representative of the appellant and upon hearing the arguments of Shri S.K. Choudhury, Senior Departmental Representative for the respondent, the Tribunal makes the following Order : 3. This is an appeal against the order-in-review No. 111/10/1696/81 IA(RC), dated 19-11-1982 passed by the Collector of Central Excise, Madras, in which the Collector has reviewed an order dated 16-10-1981 of the Assistant Collector, Pondicherry, sanctioning a refund of Rs. 12,681.37 in respect of certain quantity of starch exported by the appellant to Sri Lanka. The appellant had bought starch from M/s. Laxmi Starch Ltd., Hyderabad, subjected it to certain processes described as 'enrichment' by the representative of the appellant, and sent it abroad. The appellant's claim is for refund of excise duty paid by M/s.
Laxmi Starch Ltd., in terms of Rule 173-L of the Central Excise Rules, 1944. Rule 173-L does not cover situations in which goods are purchased by a person for purposes of manufacture; it refers to "return" of goods on which duty of excise has been paid. The word 'return' carries with it an implied sense of taking back to the person from whom goods were originally obtained. Much was said about the provisions in the rule authorising return of the goods to the same factory from which it was cleared or to another factory. Quite apart from the location to which goods are returned, there is also an element of ownership. The return has necessarily to be to or on account of the person from whom the goods were originally obtained. In this sense, we agree that a case of purchase for value of starch from M/s. Laxmi Starch Ltd., Hyderabad, would not constitute "return" of the goods in terms of Rule 173-L.
4. In view of this finding we do not go into other factors raised in the order, such as non-compliance with other provisions of Rule 173-L, for purposes of disposal of this appeal.