V.K. Agrawal, Member (T)
1. The issue involved in this appeal filed by M/s. Vishvaman Industries, is whether the process of drawing wire of lesser gauge from wire rods in coil form amounts to manufacture so as to attract levy of Central Excise duty.
2. Shri J.S. Agarwal, learned Advocate submitted that the Appellants are engaged in the process of cold drawing of wire of iron/steel of lesser gauge as per the requirement of the buyers out of wires/wire rods purchased from M/s. S.A.I.L., etc.; that the inputs received by them are in coil forms which is evident from the invoices received from S.A.I.L. and annexed with the Appeal Memorandum. He also showed photographs of the raw material in support of his submission that it was in coil form. He also submitted that the Appellate Tribunal in many cases and recently in the case of Shri Puranmal Bansal v. CCE, New Delhi, Final Order No. 1791-1792/2000-B dated 10-10-2000, has held that the process of drawing wire from thicker gauge to thinner gauge does not amount to manufacture. He also placed reliance on the decision in the case of CCE, Calcutta-11 v. Indian Pin Mfg. Co., 1999 (34) RLT 321 (CEGAT) and Premier Winding Wires & Conductors v. CCE, 2000 (115) E.L.T. 698 (T). Finally the learned Advocate mentioned that the appeal filed by the Commissioner against the decision in Premier Winding Wires case has been dismissed by the Supreme Court as reported in 2000 (119) E.L.T. A242.
3. Shri M.P. Singh, learned DR reiterated the findings as contained in the impugned Order in which it was mentioned that the decision in the case of Jyoti Engg. Corporation v. CCE, 1989 (42) E.L.T. 100 (T), and in Navasari Processing Industries v. CCE, Baroda, 1996 (85) E.L.T. 386 (Tribunal) relied upon by the Appellants were in respect of the old Central Excise Tariff under which both wire and wire rod by virtue of their thickness were classifiable under same Tariff Item 26AA whereas in the Present Tariff rods are classifiable under Heading 72.13 and wire under Heading 72.17. He also referred to Trade Notice No. 48/95, dated 11-7-1995 issued by Bombay-II, Commissionerate, 1995 (78) E.L.T. 117 according to which wires and wire rods by definition given in Note 1 to Chapter 72 are two distinct commodities and drawing of wire from wire rods shall have to be treated as manufacture under Section 2(f) of the Central Excise Act. The learned D.R. requested that the matter may be remanded to the Commissioner for readjudication with the direction to pass a speaking Order after considering the nature of raw material and various decisions of the Tribunal & Supreme Court.
4. We have considered the submissions of both the sides. It has not been rebutted by the Revenue that the raw material received by the Revenue was in coil form. The process adopted by the Appellant is only to draw the wire by decreasing the sectional area. The Tribunal in Indian Pin Mfg. Co., supra, has clearly held that the process of drawing of wires from wire rod does not amount to manufacture following the decision in Jyoti Engg. Corpn., supra, which has been confirmed by the Supreme Court as reported in 1990 (48) E.L.T. A24. There is no substance in the finding in the impugned Order that under old Central Excise Tariff both wire and rods were falling under the same Tariff Item. The excisability of a product depends on the fact whether the process undertaken by the assessee amounts to manufacture and not on the fact that both fall under the same Tariff Item. The Supreme Court has also confirmed the decision in Jyoti Engg. Corporation’s case. We do not agree with learned D.R. that the matter be remanded as the impugned Order is a speaking order, thus following the ratio of decisions relied upon by the learned Advocate for the Appellants, we set aside the impugned Order and allow the appeal.