K. Madhava Reddy, C.J.
1. This is a petition by Hyderabad Bottling Company Private Limited for the issue of a Writ of Mandumus directing the respondent to refund a sum of Rs. 4,52,938.55 alleged to have been collected in excess of what is payable under the Central Excises and Salt Act in respect of aerated waters bottled by them. The Petition for refund was rejected as beyond limitation.
2. The question whether they are entitled to refund or not when one of the petitions for refund was filed beyond the period prescribed under Rule 11 of the Central Excise Rules, came up for consideration before a Bench of this Court, to which one of us was a party. In Writ Petition 463 of 1978, and it was held that the petitioners are entitled to refund of the tax even though the petition is filed beyond the period of limitation prescribed by Rule 11 of the Central Excise Rules when the duty itself is collected without any authority.
3. While the petitioner is entitled to the refund of the excise duty paid by it, it would be for the Assistant Collector, Central Excise, to determine what exactly is the amount which the petitioner can claim by way of refund.
4. Following the aforesaid Judgment, we quash the impugned order and direct the Assistant Collector to determine the excise duty to be refunded to the petitioner in the light of the said decision, and issue refund vouchers within three months of receipt of this order.
5. The writ petition is, accordingly, allowed but, in the circumstances, without costs.