1. The petitioner-firm is a manufacturer of art silk cloth and also is engaged in printing of cotton cloth which makes it a processor of cotton fabrics. The Central Government, vide Notification No. 44/62 dated 24th April, 1962, exempted from the payment of excise duty 20,000 square meters of cotton fabrics removed from any processing factory as defined in Rule 96-D of the Central Excise Rules. This notification was amended on 13th June, 1962 vide Notification No. 112/62, according to which the exemption was granted only to an 'independent processor' which has been defined. The amended notification, in so far as it is relevant to the decision of this case, will read as under :-
In excise of the powers conferred by sub-rule (1) of Rule 8 of the Central Excise Rules, 1944, as in force in India, and in supersession of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (D.R.) No. 136/60 Central Excise dated 1st October, 1960, the Central Government hereby exempts the first 20,000 square meters of cotton fabrics cleared in a month, for home consumption, from any processing factory as defined in Rule 96-D of the said rules, from so much of the duty as is in excess of the duty leviable under the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (D. R.) No. 43/62, dated 24th April, 1962 on such fabrics at the time of their entry into that factory, provided that nothing contained in this notification shall apply to -
(a) a processor other than an independent processor. For the purposes of this notification, 'independent processor' means a manufacturer who is engaged exclusively in the processing of cloth with the aid of power and who has proprietary interest in any factory engaged in the spinning of the yarn or weaving of cloth'.
2-3. It is the interpretation of the definition of the 'independent processor' which is the subject matter of dispute in this writ petition. According to the petitioner, the word 'cloth' wherever it occurs in the definition of 'independent processor' refers to cotton cloth and in the phrase 'weaving of cloth' means any kind of cloth. For the purposes of this interpretation, the definition of processing factory as contained in Rule 96 - D (2) is as under :-
'For the purposes of this rule, 'processing factory, shall be deemed to be a factory working with the aid of power in which cotton fabrics are processed but in which such fabrics are not woven.'
It is thus clear that the words 'such fabrics' in the phrase 'such fabrics are not woven' refer to cotton fabrics only, so that the exemption under the notification is allowed to owner of a processing factory which is engaged only in the processing of cotton fabrics and which does not weave cotton fabrics. The words 'independent processor' have, therefore, to be interpreted keeping in view the definition of 'processing factory.' In the definition of 'independent processor' the word used is 'cloth' in reference to processing or with reference to weaving. It is not possible to read the word 'cloth' as 'cotton cloth' in reference to weaving. The word 'cloth' has to be given the same meaning at both the places. The authority granting the exemption was only concerned with cotton fabrics and not any other kind of fabrics and the effort has been to allow exemption to the processor of cotton fabrics, if engaged in the weaving of any other cloth like art silk cloth or woollen cloth, will be entitled to th exemption but if he has any proprietary interest in any factory engaged in the spinning of cotton yarn or weaving of cotton cloth, he will not be entitled to any exemption.
4. It is a well established rule of interpretation that the words used in the same context are to be given the same meaning and they get the colour from the context for th purposes of their meaning . As I have said above, only cotton fabrics were being considered for exemption from excise duty to a certain extent and the manufacturers of only cotton fabrics were within the contemplation of the authority granting the exemption. If a processor of cotton fabrics is engaged in any other business, he would not be denied the exemption . The business of weaving art silk cloth or wollen cloth is as much distinct from the business or weaving cotton cloth as the business of toy making or any other industry. In my opinion , therefore, the petitioner is entitled to the exemptions granted under the notifications as he is admittedly only a processor of cotton fabrics and not a weaver of cotton cloth nor a spinner of cotton yarn, He has also no proprietary interest n any factory engaged in the spinning of cotton yarn or weaving of cotton cloth.
5. For the reasons given above this writ petition is allowed and the order dated 5th July, 1963 of the Superintendent (Tech. 1), Central Excise, Amristar, the order dated 17th April, 1964, passed by Shri. R. C. Misra Deputy Collector of Customs and Central Excise, Amristar, and the order dated 27th October, 1965 of the Government of India, copies of which are annexures 'B', 'C' and 'E' to the writ petition, are hereby quashed. There is, however, no order as to costs.
6. Petition allowed.