1. The appellants manufacture aerated waters. They sought different assessable values in respect of goods sold ex-factory, and goods sold to adjoining states. This claim has been rejected under the impugned orders on the ground that once ex-factory prices are available, there is no requirement to approve different prices for different buyers. The order also held that whole-sale dealers in the state of manufacture and adjoining states did not constitute two different classes of dealers.
2. As against the above, the contention of the appellant is that on account of various factors prices vary from area to area and it is permissible to treat dealers in different geographical areas as different class of buyers. The assessee has relied on the decision of this Tribunal in the case of Shriram Foods & Fertilizers Ltd. Vs.
C.C.E. Delhi [1996 (85) ELT 34 (Trib)], Gora Malhari Ram Ltd. Vs.
Collector of Central Excise, Delhi [1994 (69) ELT 269 (Trib.) ect. in support of their contention.
3. We have perused the records and considered the submissions made by both sides. The appellant has been claiming different prices for ex-factory sale, sales at depots in M.P. and sale at depots in Maharashtra. A perusal of the price declaration shows the differences prevailing in respect of sales tax, transportation and other factors.
It is well settled in the light of the aforesaid decisions of this Tribunal that dealers in different geographical areas can constitute different class of buyers. The impugned orders are contrary to this legal position. The decision of the Apex Court in Indian Oxygen case, which has been relied upon by the revenue has no application to the present case inasmuch as the decision was not with regard to the issue of different geographical prices.
4. In the view we have taken above, the appeal is allowed by way of remand. The jurisdictional Dy. Commissioner is directed to re-fix the assessable value treating buyers from different region as different class of buyers.