1. The Appellants M/s. Dempo Engineering Works Pvt. Ltd. have been licensed for manufacture of floating vessels, such as, Barges, Launches and Trawlers. These items fall under the Item 68 of the CET. Under Government of India Notification No. 176/77, dated 18-6-77, these goods are exempt from payment of the Central Excise duty if the total value of the capital investment made from time to time on plant and machinery installed in their industrial unit is not more than Rs. 10 lakhs and the total value of the clearances during the relevant period, namely, 1977-78 (on 18-6-77) does not exceed Rs. 24 lakhs during the said financial year 1977-78. The Advocate for the appellants has stated that the main point before the Tribunal for consideration is regarding the inclusion of the value of P and H Crane valued at Rs. 7,22,064/- in the computation of the value of the capital investment made on plant and machinery installed in the appellants' factory. The Assistant Collector has held that the words 'Plant and Machinery' having not been defined in the Central Excise Act will carry the meaning as per general trade parlance and usage and ordered the petitioner to pay the Central Excise duty amounting to Rs. 56.000/- because after inclusion of the value of the crane in the total investment, the total value of plant and machinery exceeds the ceiling of Rs. 10 lakhs. The Appellate Collector also rejected the contention of the Appellant that the crane is not a part of machinery installed at the Appellants' factory. In their Revision petition to the Government of India, the Appellants have again agitated that the crane is not a part of plant and machinery. This Revision petition has now been transferred to the Tribunal for disposal as Appeal.
2. The Advocate for the Appellants has argued that the crane in question is a mobile crane and should be considered as a conveyance and not as part of plant and machinery in the factory. He has cited the case of Sheikh Mohamed Rowther. v C. C., Madras reported in 1983 E.C.R.1331(D) in support of his submission. He further referred to the word 'installed' in the aforesaid Notification and stated that according to the publication 'Words and Phrases' Volume 21-A Pages 472 and 473 by St. Paulmin West Publishing Co., the word 'installed' means to set up or fix. Installation of machinery is complete only when it is fixed to the ground in position in use or service. Since the crane is a mobile crane, it cannot be considered to have been installed in the factory as part of the plant and machinery. The SDR referred to the following citations: - CIT. v. Meer Mohd. Ali-MR 1964 S.C. (P. 1693) ; CIT. v. Saraspore Mills Ltd.-1959 (36) ITR P. 580 Bombay, CIT. v. Taj Mahal Hotel-1971 (82) ITR P. 44 ; 48 Indian Appeals 435 mentioned in 1982 E.L.T. P. 53 Bombay.
In the light of these judgments he stated that the word 'machinery' includes all mechanical contrivances to generate power, except for stock-in-trade and the buildings all other mechanical contrivances should be included in the words 'Plant and Machinery'. He further stated that the word 'machinery' should include all goods and chattels fixed or movable, live or dead, which he keeps for permanent employment in his business except that the word 'Plant' does not include the place at which the business is carried out. He went on to say that even a horse was considered as a plant in the case of Yarmouth v. France (1887-19 QBD 647 658).
3. The Bench has considered the submissions made by both the parties and is of the view that since the mobile crane is meant for being used in the industrial unit for conducting its operations for transport within the factory, it should be considered as part and parcel of the plant and machinery installed therein. It is not necessary that the plant and machinery must be embedded in earth or attached to what is so embedded. The words plant and machinery occurring in the aforesaid Notification should be deemed to include any machinery or equipment used for industrial activity or furthering industrial activity in the factory. The Appellants have admitted that the mobile crane in question is in fact used in the appellants' premises in lieu and in substitute for overhead fixed crane which is normally used by similar large scale barge manufacturers and engineering units. The crane is actually being used by the appellants for handling the barge and components thereof during the manufacture. The Bench has, therefore, no hesitation in holding that the valus of the said crane should be included in the computation of the total investment made in plant and machinery installed in the appellants' factory. The Appeal is, therefore, dismissed.