1. This is a revision filed before the Government of India, on transfer is being treated as an appeal.
2. The appellants on the strength of the Government of India decision in revision 682/7.5 submitted their refund claim of Rs. 1,69,508.31 being the excise duty paid by them in excess. According to their contentions their product was correctly described as 'reversible mill ends' and that their challans' referred to the identical product. But unfortunately the products were described as 'loose irregulars' in the gate passes. The Asstt. Collector basing his findings on the entries in the gate passes refused to accept the appellant's contention that those items were also 'reversible mill ends'. Mr. Raman, appearing on behalf of the appellants, contended that the gate pass numbers have been noted in the respective challans and hence there was no suppression of materials by their assessee. He also urged that challats produced by the appellants should also be taken into consideration for purposes of arriving at the duty payable.
3. Mr. Lakshmikumaran, SDR, argued that under rules 52A and 225 of the Central Excise Rules, 1944 excise duty payable should be determined on the basis of particulars furnished in the gate passes.
4. We have carefully gone into the contention raised by both the parties. Mr. Raman pointed out that in respect of the impugned gate passes, the corresponding challans referred to "reversing mill ends".
In the paper book supplied to us the details of the items rejected on the ground that the gate passes showed no clearances on 'reversible mill ends' were filed. On a perusal of the list it is seen that in respect of certain items relief was not granted to the assessee as the gate passes described the product as 'loose irregulars'. But Rule 52A reads that the term gate pass mean the assessee's own delivery invoice, challan or advice note or other documents of similar nature wherein all the particulars contained in the proper form are shown. Taking into account this explanation, it is manifest that the assessing authorities should not have rejected the contemporaneous document produced by the manufacturer. If the assessing authorities had adverted to the challans they would have seen that the product is mentioned as "reversible mill ends" for the identical gate pass. Hence the rejection of the claim of the assessee on the ground that the gate pass did not show the clearance of "reversible mill ends" cannot be approved. It is not the case of the Department that there was surreptitious removal of some other product in the guise of irregulars. Hence interest of justice require that the Department should come to a conclusion on the basis of the contemporaneous documentry evidence one way or the other.
5. In the result we set aside the Appellate Collector's order and direct that the matter be re-examined de-novo in the light of the other contemporaneous documents such as challans, registers and other statutory maintained records produced by the appellant to substantiate their plea.
6. Since this is a very old matter, we direct that the case be decided within three months on receipt of this order.