1. The only question arising for decision in the present proceedings is whether certain goods known as 'drop forging die', 'counter blow die' and 'upset die' fall for classification within item 51-A (iii) of the Central Excise Tariff Schedule (GET) and if not, under which Item would they fall.
2. The lower authorities took the view that the subject goods, which were dies, fell under Item No. 51-A (iii) as tools designed to be fitted into machine tools. The appellants contested this decision but their contentions did not find acceptance and hence the present appeal was initially filed as a Revision Application before the Central Government against the order dated 21-8-1979 of the Appellate Collector of Central Excise, Madras and which now stands transferred to this Tribunal under Section 35-P of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 for disposal as if it were an appeal filed before it.
3. The appeal was heard on 7-7-1983 when Shri Rama Subramaniam, Advocate, represented the appellants and Shri Hem Prakash, JDR, the Revenue. The learned counsel for the appellants contended before us that sub-item (III) of Item No. 51-A specifies only 2 types of dies, i.e. dies for wire drawing and extrusion dies for metals, only these dies would be included under the said entry. The 3 dies manufactured by the appellants, namely, drop forging die, counter below die and upset die do not fall within the category of either dies for wire drawing or extrusion dies for metals. They would not, therefore, fall for classification under the said sub-item. The tariff itself makes a distinction between tools and dies and dies other than those specifically included in the sub-item would not be covered within its scope.
4. The Counsel for the appellants also contended that the subject goods were really not dies but die blocks. To a query from the Bench as to why the subject goods were named dies if they were in fact not dies but only die blocks, the Counsel submitted that the nomenclature 'dies' could be misnomer.
5. Appearing on behalf of the Revenue, Shri Hem Prakash submitted that the appellants themselves had described the goods as dies. The contention that they were not dies but die blocks was being raised for the first time and this plea should not be accepted at this stage. All dies designed to be fitted into machine tools were classifiable under Item No. 51-A (iii). The appellants had not disputed the Appellate Collector's finding that the subject goods were tools designed to be fitted into machine tools. Item No. 51-A (iii) was wide enough in scope to cover these dies.
6. We have considered the submissions of both the sides. According to the appellants' own submissions and the nomenclature employed by them these goods are dies. The somewhat feeble attempt made before us to contend that these were not dies but die blocks, in our view, cannot be entertained at this stage since this plea was not taken up before the lower authorities as fairly conceded by the Appellants' Counsel. It is not also in dispute that these dies are tools to be fitted into machine tools. Item 51-A (iii) reads as follows :- "Tools designed to be fitted into hand tools, machine tools or tools falling under sub-item (ii), including dies for wire drawing, extrusion dies for metals and rock drilling bits." From the plain reading of the above entry it is clear that all tools designed to be fitted into machine tools would fall under the sub-item.
This could include dies also which are in the nature of tools. The fact that dies for wire drawing and extrusion dies for metals have been specifically included in the tariff entry would not, in our view, lead to the conclusion that other types of dies would not be covered by the sub-item even if they are in the nature of tools designed to be fitted into machine tools. In this view of the matter, we hold that the subject goods have been correctly classified under Item No. 51-A (iii) by the lower authorities. The appeal is rejected.