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Thursday, May 25, 2017

The assessee has claimed the classification of their covering yarn manufactured by way of attachment by applying pressurized air in Air Jet machine under Chapter Sub-heading 56.06 of Central Excise Tariff. Accordingly, on perusal of said entry in Central Excise tariff, it is seen that Chapter Sub-heading No. 56.06 covered gimped yarn, and strop and the like of heading No. 54.04 or 54.05, gimped (other than those of Heading No.56.05 and gimped horse hair); chenille yarn (including flock chenille yarn); lop wale yarn. Since the assessee has claimed polyester and Nylon covering yarn as gimped yarn under Chapter Sub-heading 56.06 of Central Excise Tariff, it may be mentioned here that as per the Explanatory Notes to HSN, Gimped yarn are composed of core, usually of one or more textile yarns, around which other yarns are wound spirally. In gimped yarn, the yarn forming the loop is wrapped around the core yarn and is held in place by binder or tie yarn. However as per the test report of MANTRA, Surat, which has not been challenged or disputed by the assessee, the polyester or Nylon yarn did not wound spirally and even did not wrapped around the Lycra/Spandex (elastoemeric) yarn or it was not held in place by a binder or tie yarn. It was merely attached with each other due to pressurized air by way of technique of intermingling. Therefore the yarns in question cannot be said to be composed of core of yarns. And as such it is not gimped yarn.”

                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                     CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 5805-5807 OF 2009


|SARLA PERFORMANCE FIBERS LTD.              |.....APPELLANT(S)            |
|VERSUS                                     |                             |
|COMMISSIONER OF CENTRAL EXCISE & CUSTOMS,  |                             |
|VAPI                                       |.....RESPONDENT(S)           |

                                   W I T H

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7253 OF 2009

                                     AND

                       CIVIL APPEAL NO. 11204 OF 2014



                               J U D G M E N T


A.K. SIKRI, J.
            All these appeals involve identical dispute,  which  pertain  to
classification of the goods  known  as  Polyester  Covered  Yarn  and  Nylon
Covered Yarn.  Whereas the appellants/assessees argue  that  these  products
are covered by Chapter No. 56 and come under CSH No.  5606.06,  the  Revenue
has taken the position that the aforesaid goods fall in CSH No.  5402.62/61.
 The stand of the Revenue has been accepted by the Customs Excise &  Service
Tax Appellate Tribunal (for short  ‘CESTAT’)  which  is  challenged  by  the
assessees in these appeals.  For the sake  of  convenience,  we  shall  take
note of the facts from Civil Appeal Nos. 5805-5807 of 2009.

The aforesaid  two  products,  namely,  Polyester  Covered  Yarn  and  Nylon
Covered Yarn are manufactured by the appellants by applying the  process  of
conventional covering on machine – MENEGATTO  –  Model  1500/2000  and  also
separately by applying the process of air  covering  on  machine  SSM-DP2-C.
The dispute pertains to the goods manufactured with the application  of  air
covering process.  This process of air covering is as under:
The Lycra/Spandex Spool is loaded on the feeder and nylon  or  polyester  is
loaded on the Creel.  Then the  Lycra  or  Spandex  is  drafted  to  certain
extent i.e. as per the requirement of quality.  Then the  Nylon/polyester  &
Lycra/Spandex is passed through the air jet where the covering takes  place.
 Finally the covered yarn is wound on paper tube.

It is an admitted case that upto July, 2001, the assessees  were  themselves
covering these yarns under Chapter No. 54 and paying duty  accordingly.   As
per them, it was noticed that Custom Department was acquiring such yarns  on
importation under Chapter 56.  The assessees were advised that the yarns  in
question are to be classified under Chapter No. 56 and not  Chapter  No.  54
and, therefore, after intimating the Department, they started effecting  the
clearances under CSH No. 5606.06 w.e.f. July, 2001.

On visit by the officers  of  the  Excise  Department,  when  the  aforesaid
manner of effecting the clearances was noticed, the objection was raised  by
the  Department  stating  that  the  goods  were  classifiable   under   CSH
5402.62/61  and  not  5606.06.   After  recording  the  statements  of  some
employees of the appellants company, show cause notice dated 04.09.2002  was
issued  proposing   modification   in   classification   of   covered   yarn
manufactured by air covering method and on that basis differential duty  for
the period from March, 2001 to February, 2002 was also demanded.   The  show
cause notice also proposed imposition of penalty and  recovery  of  interest
as well.  This show cause notice led to  adjudication  by  the  Adjudicating
Authority.  After receiving  reply  to  show  cause  notice  and  giving  an
opportunity  of  hearing  to  the  assessees,  the  Adjudicating   Authority
affirmed the proposal contained in the show cause notice and  also  affirmed
demand of differential duty of Rs.44,89,471/- with interest  as  applicable.
Penalty of equal amount as that of duty was also imposed.   This  order  was
challenged  by  the  assessees  before  the   Commissioner   (Appeals)   and
thereafter before the CESTAT, resulting into the dismissal of their  appeals
at both levels.

Before proceeding to take note of the submission of the  respective  counsel
for the parties, it will be apt to take note of the two  competing  entries.
Chapter 54 deals with Man-Made Filaments and CSH 54.02, with  which  we  are
concerned, pertains to Synthetic filament yarn, other  than  sewing  thread.
Various sub-heads of Heading No.54.02 are as under:

|Heading   |Sub-headin|Description of goods   |Rate of duty       |
|No.       |g No.     |                       |                   |
|          |          |                       |Basic  Additional  |
|54.02     |          |Synthetic filament yarn|                   |
|          |          |(other than sewing     |                   |
|          |          |thread), including     |                   |
|          |          |synthetic monofilament |                   |
|          |          |of less than 60 Deniers|                   |
|          |5402.10   |- High tenacity yarn of|16%                |
|          |          |nylon or other         |                   |
|          |          |polyamides             |                   |
|          |5402.20   |- High tenacity yarn of|16%                |
|          |          |polyesters             |                   |
|          |5402.61   |- Of nylon or other    |16%                |
|          |          |polyamides             |                   |
|          |5402.62   |- Of polyesters        |16%                |

There are four chapter notes and for the purposes of these appeals,  chapter
note 3 needs to be kept in mind.  Accordingly,  we  reproduce  the  same  as
well:
“3.  In relation to products of heading Nos. 54.01, 54.02, 54.03, 54.04  and
54.05, dyeing,  printing,  bleaching,  mercerising,  twisting,  texturising,
doubling, multiple-folding, cabling, air  mingling,  air  texturing  or  any
other process or any one or more of these processes, or  the  conversion  of
any form of the said products into  another  form  of  such  products  shall
amount to manufacture.”

Chapter 56 under which the assessees intend to cover their  products,  bears
the heading “Wadding, Felt and Non-Wovens; Special  Yarns;  Twine,  Cordage,
Ropes and Cables and Articles thereof”.  The relevant  entry  under  Heading
No.56.06 reads as under:
|Heading   |Sub-headin|Description of goods   |Rate of duty       |
|No.       |g No.     |                       |                   |
|          |          |                       |Basic  Additional  |
|56.06     |5606.00   |Gimped yarn, and strip |16%                |
|          |          |and the like of Heading|                   |
|          |          |No. 54.04 or 54.05,    |                   |
|          |          |gimped (other than     |                   |
|          |          |those of Heading No.   |                   |
|          |          |56.05 and gimped       |                   |
|          |          |horsehair yarn);       |                   |
|          |          |Chenille yarn          |                   |
|          |          |(including flock       |                   |
|          |          |chenille yarn); Loop   |                   |
|          |          |wale yarn              |                   |




Mr. Lakshmikumaran, learned counsel appearing for the  assessees,  submitted
that, no doubt, Note 3 of Chapter No. 54 stipulates that the process of  air
mingling is also included in  Chapter No. 54.  His submission, however,  was
that this air mingling refers to the situation where same yarn is used.   He
argued that when two different kinds of yarns are used in the air  mingling,
it is known as gimped and such process of gimped yarn would not  be  covered
by Chapter No. 54 but was specifically covered  by  Chapter  Heading  56.06.
In  support  of  his  submission,  Mr.  Lakshmikumaran   referred   to   HSN
Explanatory notes pertaining to Heading 56.06  wherein  the  nature  of  the
product is described as under:
“These products are composed of a core,  usually  of  one  or  more  textile
yarns,  around  which  other  yarn  or  yarns  are  wound  spirally.    Most
frequently the covering threads completely  cover  the  core,  but  in  some
cases the turns of the spiral are spaced; in the latter  case,  the  product
may have somewhat the appearance of certain  multiple  (folded),  cabled  or
fancy yarns of Chapters 50 to 55, but may be distinguished from them by  the
characteristic of gimped yarn that  the  core  does  not  itself  undergo  a
twisting with the cover threads.
                                                           (emphasis added)”

He also sought to draw sustenance  from  the  dictionary  meaning  of  ‘gimp
yarn’ which is defined in Fairchild’s Dictionary of  Textiles,  7th  Edition
authored by Phyllis G.  Tortora  and  Robert  S.  Merkel  in  the  following
manner:
“gimp yarn A fancy yarn made  of  one  or  more  strands  twisted  around  a
central core and delivered at a  faster  rate  to  form  a  distinct  spiral
effect.  The outer yarns often are colored and coarser than the core  yarns.
 Gimp yarns originally were made of silk  twisted  around  a  fine  wire  or
strong cord.  Uses: trimming, lace, embroidery.”


He further submitted that the Tribunal wrongly  held  that  HSN  Explanatory
notes would not apply in the instant case.

Counsel appearing in other appeals adopted the same arguments.

Mr.  Radhakrishnan,  learned  senior  counsel  appearing  for  the  Revenue,
submitted, per contra, that the matter was examined in its  all  length  and
breadth, taking into consideration every relevant  fact  that  the  products
were  covered  by  Chapter  Heading  5402.62/61.   For  this   purpose,   he
extensively read the facts stated in the show cause notice, reasoning  given
by the Adjudicating Authority in the Order-in-Original as well as  Order-in-
Appeal passed by the Commissioner (Appeals).  He further submitted that  the
Tribunal has given cogent reasons in rejecting these very  submissions  made
by the appellants before this Court and commended this Court to accept  well
reasoned decision of the Tribunal.

At the outset, it may be pointed out that  there  is  no  dispute  that  two
yarns are used in the manufacture of the product, namely, Nylon  and  Lycra.
At the same time, however, it is also an admitted  fact  that  in  Polyester
Covered Yarn, the percentage of  Lycra  is  only  nine  to  ten  and  it  is
Polyester/Nylon which is  pre-dominantly  used  ranging  from  91%  to  93%.
Taking note of these facts and definition of gimped yarn in Explanation  (A)
to Chapter Heading 56.00 under Section XI of Explanatory  note  to  HSN,  it
was stated in the show cause notice that the product could  not  be  treated
as gimped yarn.  This process which is mentioned in the  show  cause  notice
in detail, and the factual position contained therein was  not  disputed  by
the appellants, reads as under:
“5. Whereas it further appear that as  per  the  technical  details  of  the
machineries involved in the  manufacture  of  said  polyester/nylon  covered
yarn  that  the  Polyester/Nylon  yarn  is  not  wound   spirally   on   the
Polyurethane  (elastomeric)  yarn   i.e.   Lycra   or   Spandex   that   the
Polyester/Nylon Texturised yarn forming the loop  in  relaxed  condition  is
not wrapped  around  the  polyurethane  (elastomeric)  yarn  i.e.  Lycra  or
Spandex  or  held  in  place  by  a  binder  or  tie  yarn  that  both   the
Polyester/Nylon texturised and Lycra or spandex are attached to  each  other
by a new technology of yarn covering by application of  pressurized  air  in
the path of both the polyester-twist-textured yarn  and  elastomeric  yarns,
similar to the technique of intermingling i.e. Air  intermingling  that  the
process of manufacture in SSM DP2C machine is  that  one  textured  filament
yarn of Polyester/Nylon is fed.   Another  yarn  of  Lycra/Spandex  is  fed.
Both the yarns are fed together in an air jet.   In  the  air  jet,  due  to
compressed air, the filament of Polyester/Nylon get intermingled  with  that
of Lycra/Spandex.

6.  In Polyester covered yarn the percentage of Lycra/Spandex by  weight  is
9 to 10%.  In other words, the Polyester is predominant ranging from  91  to
93%.  In nylon covered yarn, the percentage of Lycra/Spandex  by  weight  is
2.5 to 25%.  In other words Nylon is predominant ranging from 75%  to  97.5%
and the two yarns are held together by way of intermingling.

7.  Further the gimped yarn is defined  in  explanation  (A)  to  Ch.H.56.00
under section XI of explanatory  note  to  HSN.   According  to  explanatory
notes, gimped yarns are compressed of core, usually of one or  more  textile
yarn around which other yarn or yarns are wound spirally.   Most  frequently
the covering threads completely cover the core, but in some case  the  turns
of the spiral are spaced.  In the latter case product  may  have  some  what
the appearance certain multiple (folded), cabled or fancy  yarn  of  chapter
50 to 55 but may be distinguished from them by the characteristic of  gimped
yarn that the core does  not  itself  undergo  a  twisting  with  the  cover
threads.  In gimped yarn, the yarn forming the loop is  wrapped  around  the
core yarn and is held on place by  binder  or  tie  yarn.   The  manufacture
requires two distinct twisting operation after the yarn is  first  made,  it
is twisted opposite direction to establish the desired effect.  It may  have
the loops formed by a very soft  and  slackly  twisted  yarn.   These  yarns
falls under Chapter Heading 56.06 of the Tariff as special yarns.   In  view
of the above, and in view of the fact that the yarn forming the loop is  not
wrapped around the core yarn is not held in place by a  binder  or  the  tie
yarn like in gimped yarn and loops are not formed by  twisted  yarn.   These
yarns viz. Polyester/Nylon covered yarn can not fall under  Chapter  heading
56.06 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.

8.  It therefore appears that Air mingled yarns manufactured by  M/s.  Sarla
Polyester  Ltd.  comprise  a  Polyester  Yarn  (Polyester)  or  Nylon   Yarn
(Polyamide) air mingled with  Lycra/Spandex  (polyurethane).   The  assessee
using lycra or spandex as core yarn and covering the same with polyester  or
nylon yarn, a non elastic multi filament  yarn  of  Polyester/Nylon  is  fed
through an air jet with stretched lycra/spandex.  In the  air  jet,  due  to
compressed air, the filaments of polyester/nylon get intermingled with  that
of Lycra/Spandex.  The resulting yarn would therefore  merit  classification
based on the principle of pre-dominance of  textile  material  used.   Since
the air mingled yarn contain more polyester or  nylon  by  weight  vis-a-vis
Lycra/Spandex such yarns merit classification under Chapter Sub Heading  No.
5402.61 or  5402.62  as  Synthetic  Filament  Yarn  of  Nylon  or  Polyester
respectively.  This classification is decided  by  virtue  of  Section  Note
2(A) to section XI covering chapter 50  to  63  of  the  first  schedule  to
Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.  Since M/s. Sarla Polyester Ltd.,  Silvassa
are having intermingling machinery at their  manufacturing  unit,  they  are
adopting the intermingling/interlacing process for  covering  lycra/spandex.
Further the unit does not have facility to manufacture spun yarn and  cannot
manufacture crimped yarn.  The unit has the air mingling  machinery  capable
of producing air mingled yarn only.  Therefore  yarn  manufactured  by  them
cannot be classified Crimped Yarn under CH. Heading no.56.06  of  CET.   The
interlaced/intermingled  yarn  manufactured  by  undertaking  air   mingling
operation is to be classified by resorting to section note 2(a)  to  section
XI i.e. by principle of pre-dominance of textile material used.   The  goods
manufactured by  M/s.  Sarla  Polyester  Ltd.  would  therefore  fall  under
chapter Heading no.5402.61 and 5402.62 as Nylon and  Polyester  respectively
predominate in weight over lycra/spandex.”

In nutshell, having regard to the use of Nylon and Lycra  in  the  ratio  of
90:10, the classification was proposed on the principle of pre-dominance  of
textile material used.  The Order-in-Original was passed  by  the  Assessing
Authority, taking note of the dominance of Polyester or Nylon  yarn  in  the
manufacturing of the said product.  The Assessing  Authority  also  referred
to tests reports from Man Made Textile Research Association  (MANTRA)  which
also supported the version of the  Revenue.   Contention  of  the  assessees
that the product should be covered under Chapter Heading  56.06  was  turned
down by the Assessing Officer in the following manner:
“28.  The assessee has claimed the classification  of  their  covering  yarn
manufactured by way of attachment by applying pressurized  air  in  Air  Jet
machine  under  Chapter  Sub-heading  56.06  of   Central   Excise   Tariff.
Accordingly, on perusal of said entry in Central Excise tariff, it  is  seen
that Chapter Sub-heading No. 56.06 covered gimped yarn, and  strop  and  the
like of heading No. 54.04 or 54.05, gimped  (other  than  those  of  Heading
No.56.05 and gimped horse hair); chenille  yarn  (including  flock  chenille
yarn); lop wale yarn.

      Since the assessee has claimed polyester and Nylon  covering  yarn  as
gimped yarn under Chapter Sub-heading 56.06 of  Central  Excise  Tariff,  it
may be mentioned here that as per the Explanatory Notes to HSN, Gimped  yarn
are composed of core, usually of one or more  textile  yarns,  around  which
other yarns are wound spirally.  In gimped yarn, the yarn forming  the  loop
is wrapped around the core yarn and is held in place by binder or tie  yarn.
 However as per the test  report  of  MANTRA,  Surat,  which  has  not  been
challenged or disputed by the assessee, the polyester or Nylon yarn did  not
wound  spirally  and  even  did  not  wrapped   around   the   Lycra/Spandex
(elastoemeric) yarn or it was not held in place by a  binder  or  tie  yarn.
It was merely attached with each other due to  pressurized  air  by  way  of
technique of intermingling.  Therefore the yarns in question cannot be  said
to be composed of core of yarns.  And as such it is not gimped yarn.”

The Appellate Authority while affirming the order of the  Assessing  Officer
also referred to Rule 3(a) of the Rules of Interpretation as per  which  the
heading which provides the most specific description is to be  preferred  to
the  heading  providing  a  more  general  description.   The  Tribunal  has
revisited the entire issue taking into consideration all the aspects of  the
matter and in the light of tests reports of MANTRA,  affirmed  the  findings
of the Authorities below that the products  manufactured  by  assessees  are
nothing but air mingled yarn and,  therefore,  cannot  be  classified  under
Chapter No. 56 in view of the fact that it does not contain  a  core  around
which another yarn has been woven.  Thus, a categorical finding  is  arrived
at that the core does not itself undergo twisting with covered threads.   On
the basis of the aforesaid  concurrent  finding  of  the  Authorities  below
rejecting the contentions of the assessees that the product in question  was
a gimped yarn, supported with cogent and valid reasons, we do not  find  any
merit in any of the contentions raised by the  appellants  before  us.   The
appeals accordingly fail and are dismissed with cost.

                             .............................................J.
                                                                (A.K. SIKRI)



                             .............................................J.
                                                             (ASHOK BHUSHAN)

NEW DELHI;
APRIL 27, 2017.

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