1. Originally preferred as a revision application before the Central Government, on transfer to this Tribunal, the said application is being treated as an appeal and being disposed of as such.
2. The appellants imported a consignment of Antimony Oxide with specifications 'Fine powder below 100 mesh, Purity 99.5 per cent as Sb2O3, Blue Star grade "P"' under Bill of Entry No. D1677, dated 27-1-1975 and claimed its classification under Item 28 of the ICT, 1934. However, the lower authorities did not accept the classification declared by the appellants and classified the goods under Item 30 ibid and also subjected the same to countervailing duty under Item 14(1) (5) CET. It is against this classification of the goods that the appellants have come to us for relief. During the course of the arguments, Shri Sogani stated that the goods imported by them were of a technical grade and were intended to be used in the process of glass manufacture and not as a colouring agent. Shri Sogani referred to various technical books and court judgments in support of his contention. He took particular exception to the observations made by the learned Appellate Collector that he had come to his finding with reference to revenue considerations and upheld classification of the goods under a tariff entry carrying a higher rate of duty. In this connection, Shri Sogani also made a reference to Tribunal's decision in Appeal No. 521/80-C, decided on 19-4-1983. He pointed out that the ratio of the said decision would squarely apply to their case with the difference that the above-mentioned order was in the context of a classification under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, whereas the classification in the present case is with reference to the Indian Tariff Act, 1934. He pleaded that the appellants were entitled to the classification of the goods under Item 28 of the I.C.T. without any countervailing duty.
3. Shri Sundar Rajan, the learned Representative of the respondent, supported the order passed by the Appellate Collector and stated that even the appellants themselves had conceded that the goods imported by them were capable of being used as colouring and pigment material. He further submitted that when some goods are capable of two alternative uses, there was nothing 'perverse' in subjecting the same to a classification under an item qua another item carrying a lower rate of duty because the former was more beneficial to the revenue. In this connection, he invited our attention to a majority judgment of the Tribunal vide Order No. 392/83-C, dated 12-8-1983 passed in Appeal No.CD(SB)(T) 811/78-C.4. We have heard both the sides and referred to the various technical books and the orders of the Tribunal referred to earlier in this order.
We find ourselves inclined to follow the ratio of the decision in Appeal No. 521/80-C (Order No. 176/83-C, dated 19-4-1983). It is not in dispute that the appellants are engaged in the manufacture of glass bulbs and tubes and have imported the goods for their own use. The mere feasibility of the subject goods to be used as colouring material does not, in our view, confer on the Customs authorities the right to subject them to a classification with reference to revenue considerations. We also note that the manufacturers have in their letter of 11-3-1975 stated that "Blue Star 'P' grade" is not of pigment grade and is used in the manufacture of glass and plastics. In the result, accepting the ratio of the decision in Appeal No. 521/80-C, we set aside the appellate order and allow the appeal with consequential relief to the appellants.