1. These two appeals captioned above have been taken up together for disposal because they involve identical questions of facts and law, and the learned counsel for the appellant requested that they might be taken together.
2. One of the appellants is Government of India Production Centre for Electric Motors, Tiruvalla located in the State of Kerala whereas the other appellant is the Extension Centre for Tin Cans and Tin Printing, Muvattupuzha, also located in the same State. Both these Centres are run under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry, Government of India.
3. The short point arising for consideration is as to whether the products manufactured by these two Centres respectively were entitled to benefit of Government of India Notification No. 71/78 as amended by Notification No. 80/80 issued on 19.6.1980.
4. The plea of the two appellants, both of whom had approached the Excise Authorities for this benefit in the name of Government of India, was rejected on the ground that in this case, the ''manufacturer" was Government of India and it could not be said nor had it been established on record that all the goods manufactured by Government of India, as "manfacturer" in its different Production/Extension Centres in all the States, did not exceed the production limit, as stipulated in this notification.
5. Shri C.N. Kumar, Advocate appearing for the appellants in both the appeals contended that he could state at the Bar that the Ministry of Industry was 'having only four Production/Extension Centres in the State of Kerala, which have also been detailed in para 1 of the Grounds of Appeal, and that it could be proved that the goods manufactured at these Centres were all specified in the Table, and that their total or aggregate value did not exceed the requisite limit and as such these products were entitled to the benefit of Government of India Notification No. 80/80-CE dated 19.6.1980.
6.The learned Departmental Representative controverted this plea by contending that what was to be taken into consideration for the purpose of this Notification was the total number of products of a "manufacturer" in whole of India, and not in any one State and that since there was nothing on record of these appeals to show that Government of India had these type of Centres for producing excisable goods, as specified in the Table, only in the Slate of Kerala, the benefit of Notification No. 80/80-CE could not be available to the appellants.
7. We have given our very careful consideration to the matter, and have gone through the relevant Notification. We find, on a reading of this Notification, that it was intended to apply to small scale units, and by no straining of reasoning, Government of India on whose behalf the matter has been taken up before the Excise Authorities and then in this appeal for the benefit of the aforesaid notification, could be considered to be a small scale manufacturer. The learned Departmental Representative is right in pointing out that there is no material on this record in support of this contention nor the learned counsel for the appellants was in a position to vouchsafe for the fact that the Government of India, as one entity, was not operating in other States for manufacturing other excisable goods which might also fall in this Table, whose list runs up to 72 items. It is also a matter for almost judicial notice that wherever there was an intention to accord exemption to Government of India's departmental undertakings, there are invariably separate Notifications, such as for Government Undertakings, Ordnance Factories, Technical Institutions, etc. and it is our firm view that appellants cannot take recourse on behalf of Government of India as a manufacturer to a general Notification of the type we have before us, namely, Notification No. 80/80 dated 19.6.1980. We, therefore, do not find any merit in the appeals, and both the appeals are dismissed accordingly.