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THE Supreme Court has ruled that if the specified goods are eligible for exemption from payment of excise duty all such goods are eligible for non-payment, irrespective of the manufacturing companies. The central excise department cannot deny such a benefit taking the plea that such a benefit was company specific. A bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice SH Kapadia dismissed an appeal of central excise department.

M/s Sri Ganganagar Bottling Co had the manufactured aerated water. They were SSI units. They manufactured aerated water and cleared the same after affixing the brand name “Citra” during the period 1993-94. The brand name belonged to another person namely M/s Limca Flavours and Fragrances Ltd. which was eligible for exemption (as SSI unit) under government Notification.

But the department by showcause notice proposed to recover central excise duty on the clearances of those branded goods effected by the Ganganagar Bottling Co in 1993-94, alleging that the exemption under the notification was not available to such goods inasmuch as identical goods were not manufactured by the brand name owners.

The order of the assistant commissioner was reviewed and accordingly, an appeal was preferred by the Department to the Commissioner.

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