1. The captioned appeal was initially filed as]a Revision Application before the Central Government which, under Section 131-B of the Customs Act, 1962, has come as transferred proceedings to this Tribunal for disposal as if it were an appeal filed before it.
2. The only and simple issue arising for decision in the present matter is whether the goods imported by the appellants, namely, the product by the name of "Delrin 500" at the Port of Bombay and cleared under cover of Bill of Entry Cash No. 515 dated 2-8-1980, was entitled to assessment at the concessional rate of basic and additional duties of Customs in terms, of Customs Notification No. 116/80 dated 19-6-1980.
The said Notification exempts the goods specified in the Table annexed to it from so much of the basic duty of Customs as is in excess of 45% ad valorem and from the whole of duty of Customs subject to certain conditions. Serial No. 6 of the Table specifies "Acetal copolymer of purity 99% and above". The goods imported- Delrin 500-according to the appellants' own admission in the Memorandum of Appeal is acetal homopolymer and not acetal copolymer shown at Serial No. 6 of the Table annexed to the aforesaid Notification. However, the appellants argue that acetal homopolymer is comparatively superior to acetal copolymer in many properties and, therefore, the intention of the Government would not have been to discriminate the former product against the latter. On this reasoning they have requested for the benefit in question on grounds of equity if not on any other consideration. The lower authorities did not accept this contention. The Appellate Collector in a well-reasoned order has differentiated between homopolymer and copolymer and shown that the concessional rate of duty fixed for copolymer was not available to homopolymer.
3. The appeal was fixed forbearing on 8-11-1983. None was present on behalf of the appellants. A telegram from the appellants was placed before the Bench in which they have made a request that the appeal might by disposed of on the basis of their written submissions. In an earlier communication dated 20-10-1983, the appellants had stated that they would not be in a position to be present at the time of hearing.
We have, therefore, proceeded to dispose of the matter after hearing the Departmental representative.
4. Shri Sunder Rajan, the Departmental Representative, contended on behalf of the Revenue that the chemical composition of copolymer and homo-polymer were different and they were not one and the same substance. In this connection he referred to the Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Tenth Edition, by G. Hawley, in which "Copolymer" has been defined as "An elastomer produced by the simultaneous polymerization of two or more dissimilar monomers; as SBR synthetic rubber, from styrene and butadiene", and "homopolymer" has been defined as "A natural or synthetic high polymer derived from a single monomer; an example of a natural homopolymer is rubber hydrocarbon, whose monomer is isoprene ; a synthetic homopolymer is typified by polychloroprene or polystyrene, whose monomers are, respectively, chloroprene and styrene". Since on the appellants' own admission, what they have imported was a homopolymer and not a copolymer, the lower authorities had rightly rejected the claim for re-assessment.
5. We have considered the submissions contained in the appeal as well as those of the Departmental Representative. We have also perused the definitions in the Chemical Dictionary referred to by Shri Sunder Rajan. The appellants themselves seem to have realized that they have no case on merits and it is, therefore, they brought in the question of equity. This Tribunal can only interpret the Notification as it stood at the material time. We agree with the reasoning adopted by the Appellate Collector and the arguments advanced by the Departmental Representative.
6. The appellants have referred to a latter import of what they call "Derline" which, according to the appellants, was cleared at the concessional rate of duty and on production of the end-use certificate, the bond and bank guarantee were released by the Bombay Customs.
However, they have not produced any evidence in this behalf and we are not aware of the circumstances about the said release. In any event, as we have noted earlier, we have to go by the words employed in the Notification which do not cover the product Delrin 500.
7. In the circumstances stated above, we uphold the order of the Appellate Collector of Customs and reject the appeal.