1. Appeals under Section 35B of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, praying that in the circumstances stated therein, the Tribunal wi11 be pleased to condone the entire storage loss noticed in respect of Low Sulphur Heavy Stock.
2. These appeals coming up for orders upon perusing the records and upon hearing the arguments of Shri V.N. Kotagiri, representative of the appe11ant-firm and upon hearing the arguments of Shri A.Vijayaraghavan, Departmental Representative for the respondent, the Tribunal makes the fo11owing order : 3. As the general principle involved in a11 these cases is the same, we are taking them together for decision and by the Bench itself.
4. These appeals arise out of the fo11owing orders passed by the Additional Co11ector of Central Excise, Cochin, condoning storage loss upto 0.05% and demanding duty on the remaining quantity in respect of Low Sulphur Heavy Stock :- 5. The representative of the appe11ants explains that Low Sulphur Heavy Stock (LSHS) is semi-solid at ordinary temperature; the storage tank is kept heated at about 70C to keep the product in a fluid condition for purposes of handling. The hot product is loaded into insulated tank lorries and is transported over comparatively short distances so that the product remains in a fluid condition ti11 it reaches its destination. He also referred to the difficulties in the accurate 'dipping' of the tanks holding the hot fluid, the normal temperature of the surroundings being about 29-30 C. The existing practice of the Departmeat of accepting shortages only upto 0.05% seems to be based on the premise that LSHS is semi-solid at normal temperature. The fact that at the time of handling it is a fluid and is handled at the comparatively high temperature of 70C, does not seem to have been given due weight. At the temperature of handling, LSHS compares we11 with black oil, with the added disadvantage of the human factor in taking dip measurement of a hot fluid in a hot tank. Under the circumstances we consider that a shortage of about 0.25% should be adequate to take care of problems relating to storage alone. In this view of the matter we a11ow the appeals in respect of the fo11owing cases : Appeal Nos. 265/83 ; 266/83 ; 296/83 ; 297/83; 298/83 ; 299/83 ; 300/83 ; 301/83 ; 302/83 ; 303/83 and 304/83.
In respect of the other cases (Appeal Nos. 267/83 and 268/83) we order that a shortage upto 0.25% be accepted as due to normal causes and duty demand be restricted to the balance.