1. This is an appeal against the Order-in-Appeal No. 613/75 (HNR) dated 27-3-75 passed by the Appellate Collector of Central Excise, Madras.
This appeal was heard on 24-11-83 together with Appeal No. 34/75(c) and the same arguments were launched.
2. Sirpur Paper Mills cleared a consignment of 2778.3 tegs, of white map-litho paper containing of rags of 90 gms. under gate pass No. 6708 dated 22-3-73 after paying duty under item 17(2) of Central Excise Tariff. By a letter dated 19-9-73 the manufacturers requested orders to reclassify this clearance on the Tariff Item 17(3) so as to enable them to claim refund of the excess amount paid by them under protest.
3. The Assistant Collector says that the mere addition of the word "under protest' in the gate pass does not dispense with a need to give an intimation that the assessment was disputed. He also says that map-litho paper and higher grammage of 85 gsm or above was indistinguishable from cartridge paper.
4. The reasoning of the Assistant Collector are as unusual as they are disingenuous. He himself says that by a letter dated 19-9-73 the manufacturers requested orders to reclassify the clearance under tariff item 17(3) to enable them to claim refund, because in the classification list approved from 1-3-73, map-litho paper of 85 gsm and above was classified as cartridge paper assessable under 17(2). A dispassionate view would have told him that this was a claim for refund and that it was in time. We do not know the authority for saying that map-litho paper of 85 gsm and above is indistinguishable from cartridge paper. A map-litho paper is a paper generally used in printing maps, one of whose characteristics is foldability i.e., they should have good folding qualities and must fold without tearing; they are frequently given animal sizing. Sometimes they are imparted high wet strength, meaning that they retain much of their original strength even when wet.
They are not the same thing as cartridge paper and are never known to have been understood or accepted to be indistinguishable or interchangeable with cartridge paper. We accordingly set aside the order and direct consequential re-assessment and refund of the duty wrongly recovered.