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Case Law Details

Case Name : Commissioner of Central Excise Vs M/s. Kalvert Foods India Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. (Supreme Court of India)
Appeal Number : Civil Appeal No. 4500- 4502 of 2003
Date of Judgement/Order : 09/08/2011
Related Assessment Year :
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CCE Vs M/s. Kalvert Foods India Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. (Supreme Court of India)- The statements were recorded by the Central Excise Officers and they were not police officers. Therefore, such statements made by the Managing Director of the Company and other persons containing all the details about the functioning of the company which could be made only with personal knowledge of the respondents and therefore could not have been obtained through coercion or duress or through dictation. We see no reason why the aforesaid statements made in the circumstances of the case should not be considered, looked into and relied upon.

It is established from the record that the aforesaid statements were given by the concerned persons out of their own volition and there is no allegation of threat, force, coercion, duress or pressure being utilised by the officers to extract the statements which corroborated each other. Besides, the Managing Director of the Company on his own volition deposited the amount of Rs. 11 lakhs towards excise duty and therefore in the facts and circumstance of the present case, the aforesaid statement of the counsel for the respondents cannot be accepted. This fact clearly proves the conclusion that the statements of the concerned persons were of their volition and not outcome of any duress.

On the basis of the materials available on record it is clear that the Company was guilty of clandestine removal of excisable goods as non-excisable goods in order to evade excise duty. It is proved from the fact that the Managing Director voluntarily came forward to sort out the issue and to pay the Excise duty and paid Excise duty to the extent of Rs. 11,00,000/- on different dates. The aforesaid act of the respondent no. 1 was very material and relevant but the same was also ignored by the Tribunal while arriving at a wrong conclusion.

House mark and brand name need not be registered– SC held that the tribunal had not considered the distinction between the expressions “house mark” and “brand name” of products. The commissioner had found that the firm, producing food items like jams and sauces had clandestinely removed excisable goods from the factory, evading duty. The tribunal quashed the finding on several grounds. It said that Kalvert used on the products was not a registered trade name. It was only a house mark. The Supreme Court stated that the tribunal was wrong on this point. It is not necessary that a brand name should be compulsorily registered. A person can carry on his trade by using a brand name which is not registered. A house mark is one which indicates the origin of the goods from a particular company. It may have several trade marks in respect of its various goods. A product may carry both trade mark and house mark. The product trade mark identifies the goods in the market and is advertised as such. House mark represented the image of the manufacturing company. In this case, Kalvert was a brand name, not a house mark. As the products carried the trade mark, they were liable to excise duty.


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