The Supreme Court of India on 14 January 2013 ended the tax benefit from the Australian Foods India Private Limited, makers of Cookie Man cookies with a claim that branded goods cannot claim excise exemption that is designed for small-scale industry, even in case those are sold loose and without packaging.
The Australian cookie making company claimed the benefits of excise duty on the cookies sold by its retail stores across the nation without any brand name or packaging.
The two judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices DK Jain and JS Khehar heard the appeal from the revenue department against the decision of the tax-tribunal for granting the Australian company the excise exemption. The two judge bench in its decision of review stated that Physical Branding of any product is not necessary to prove that it was a branded product, as the product in itself shows its association with the brand name and thus it can’t take the benefits of the SSI (small scale industry) notification.
The Revenue Department went to the Supreme Court to challenge the orders of the CEGAT (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) against the excise exemption offered to the Australian Cookie making company.