Jyoti Balasundaram, Member (J)
1. The above applications for waiver of pre-deposit and stay of recovery arise out of the common adjudication order and are hence heard together and disposed of by this common order.
2. Details of the duty confirmed and penalty imposed against each applicant are as under:-
Applicant's name Duty Penalty M/s. Indian Strips Rs.1,37,99,527 Rs.1,38,87,791 Shehsmal Hiralal Shah Rs. 12,00,000 Dhanlaxmi Metals Pvt.Ltd. Rs. 2,00,000 Bhoomika Strips Pvt. Ltd. Rs. 2,00,000 Jignesh Shah Rs. 15,00,000 Bhagyodaya Metals Pvt.Ltd. Rs. 2,00,000 Navkar Metals Pvt.Ltd. Rs. 2,00,000
3. Duty has been demanded and penalty imposed on the finding of the Commissioner that reduction of gauge of hot rolled S.S.Pattas by cold rolling process amounts to manufacture. The contention of the applicants’ counsel is that the process of cold rolling was undertaken only for the purpose of reduction of thickness of the gauge of hot rolled S.S.Pattas. He submits, in cases involving identical issue the Bench has already been pleased to grant total waiver and in this connection stay order No. C.1/1775/WZB/2001 dated 14.07.01 has been produced. The ld.DR opposed the prayer for waiver, reiterating the findings of the Commissioner.
4. We find that, prima-facie, the applicants are made out a case for total waiver in view of the above cited stay order which in turn relied upon the Apex Court judgement in the case of CCE vs Steel Strips Limited [1995(75)ELT 248] wherein it has been held that the process of cold rolled stripes out of duty paid hot rolled strips does not amount to manufacture and cold rolled strips are not liable to duty. Following the ratio of the above cited stay order, we grant waiver of pre-deposit of the duty and penalties and stay recovery thereof pending the appeals.
(Dictated in Court)