Wed. Sep 23rd, 2020

Vaseline Heel Guard is a medicament for the purposes of Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985

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Supreme Court: While deciding that whether Vaseline Intensive
Care Heel Guard is to be treated as a skin care preparation or as a medicament
having curative properties, the Division Bench of A.K.Sikri and R.F Nariman,
JJ., held that the decision of the Tribunal (CESTAT) in holding Vaseline to be
a medicament falling under Chapter Heading 3003.10 of First Schedule to the
Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985, is justified and does not require any review.

Vaseline being a product having the qualities of both
skin care and to cure skin disease, therefore the dispute arose. The Court referring to the principles laid down in Commissioner of Central Excise, Mumbai v. Ciens Laboratories, (2013) 14 SCC 133, observed that presence of
small percentage of curative ingredients would not be a reason to conclude that
pharmaceutical constituents are subsidiary in nature, and the function of the product is to be given
more relevance. The Court agreeing with the observations of the Tribunal stated
that, Vaseline has been marketed as a solution for cracked heels and the essential
function of the product is treatment of heels and further protection from cracks
in heels. The resultant smoothening of skin after the use of Vaseline is
secondary in nature. The Court further observed that the Department adopted an
erroneous approach in ignoring the basic features of the product and also did
not discharge its burden of proof to provide evidences proving the product to
be a skin care preparation. [Commissioner of Central Excise v. Hindustan
Lever Ltd. 2015 SCC OnLine SC 753,  decided on 25-08-2015]

Source: Legal news India

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