“Supreme Court Expands Definition of ‘Manufacture’: Labeling Alone Qualifies for Cenvat Credit and Rebate” Central Excise Act, 1944 – Section 35L(1)(b) – qualification as ‘manufacture’ under the Act – The primary issue is whether the labeling activity constitutes ‘manufacture’ as per Note 3 to Chapter 18 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, thereby making respondent eligible for cenvat credit and rebate on exported goods – The revenue (petitioner) argued that the additional labeling done by Respondent did not amount to manufacture and hence, they were not entitled to the cenvat credit and rebate claims – Respondent contended that the labeling activity is deemed as manufacture according to Note 3 to Chapter 18 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, justifying their claims for cenvat credit and rebate – The Supreme Court affirmed the CESTAT’s order, dismissing the revenue’s appeal and upholding Jindal Drugs Ltd.’s entitlement to cenvat credit and rebate on the duty paid – The Court reasoned that the amendment to Note 3, which replaced ‘and’ with ‘or’, broadened the scope of activities considered as manufacture, including labeling – The Court interpreted the definition of ‘manufacture’ in the Central Excise Act and the amended Note 3 to Chapter 18, concluding that labeling alone suffices as manufacture – The Supreme Court concluded that the labeling activity carried out by respondent amounts to manufacture, entitling them to cenvat credit and rebate, with no order as to costs.


May 5, 2024

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