1. The above application by the Revenue has been filed in terms of Section 35G of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 for reference of the following question of law purporting to arise out of the final order No. A-262/94-NRB dated 11-3-1994 - "It is alleged that the party wilfully mis-stated the facts and wrongly described their inputs in the declaration filed by them under Rule 57G of the Central Excise Rules, 1944. Moreover it appears that the case was taken up for decision with the consent of the party and our Departmental Representative without having cross-objection from this office against the grounds of appeal filed by the Party. The appeal papers for offering the cross-objection were received in this office as late as on 21-4-1994 and as per time period the cross-objection was to be submitted by 4-6-1994." 2. The brief facts leading to the application are that the respondents herein are engaged in the manufacture of Electrical Resistance Wire strips and ribbons of stainless steel falling under Chapter 72 of Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985. During the relevant period, Electrical Resistance wire of steel was classified under sub-heading 7229.30 of the Tariff from 1-3-1988 to 22-12-1990 and thereafter under sub-heading 7223.00. The other product viz. Steel strips cold rolled was classified under sub-heading 7211.51 during the period from 1-3-1988 to 15-10-1989 and under sub-heading 7226.92 during the period from 16-10-1989 to 22-12-1990 and thereafter under sub-heading 7220.20. The raw material required for manufacture of the above items was imported from Sweden and was classified under sub-heading 7223. The raw material is redrawn to thinner gauges through wire drawing machines by the respondents and a very small percentage of the wire is flattened to manufacture strips or ribbons. The Metallurgical and Chemical composition of the material remains the same after the final product is manufactured.
3. After the introduction of Modvat Scheme, the respondents filed a declaration on 11-3-1986 under Rule 57G of the Central Excise Rules, 1944 for availing Modvat credit to the extent of additional duty of Customs paid by them on the imported raw material. The description and Tariff classification of the final product was 'Electrical Resistance Wire and strip' under sub-heading 7213.10 and input as Electrical Resistance Wire Ferrous based for reprocessing and redrawing, under sub-heading 7213.10. Fresh declaration was filed on 21-10-1990 giving the description and Tariff classification of the final products as Electrical Resistance Wires under sub-heading 7229.30 and Alloy Steel strips cold rolled with width below 5 mm under sub-heading 7226.92. The description of the inputs remained the same as in the earlier declaration but the Tariff classification was changed to 7226.92. The case of the Department was that the respondents had not declared that the inputs were of stainless steel and this mis-statement amounted to suppression and therefore, the Modvat credit has been rightly denied and demand confirmed for the extended period of limitation.
4. The Tribunal held that non-mention of stainless steel wire is of no significance in the light of the fact that the composition of Electrical Resistance Wires of Chromium compound exceeding 10% has not been doubted or disputed and further that under the revised Tariff, Chapter Note 1-E defines stainless steel as 'Alloy steel component by weight 1.2 per cent or less than that of carbon and 10.5% or more than of Chromium with or without other element' and decided the appeal with the consent of both the sides after waiving the requirement of pre-deposit. Hence this application.
5. We have heard Shri V.C. Bhartiya, learned DR and Shri R. Nambirajan, learned Advocate. The Tribunal has held that no mis-statement or suppression is involved accepting the contention of the learned Counsel that the declaration filed in 1990 has been accepted by the department and the same input was being used by the same process for the same product. Therefore, no question of law arises on the question of mis-statement and suppression. Further the grievance of the department that the appeal was decided before the time limit for filing cross-objection had expired, does not give rise to a question of law as the matter was taken up for final hearing only after obtaining the consent of Departmental Representative. Accordingly, no case for reference to the High Court has been made out. The Application is therefore, rejected.