New Delhi, Nov 27 (UNI) The Supreme Court has held that Vicco Vajradanti and Vicco Turmeric cream are Ayurvedic medicines and are not cosmetics.
A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and P Sathasivam dismissed the appeal of Central government challenging the Bombay High Court order quashing the show cause notice dated April 29, 2005 issued by the Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Nagpur to the respondent Vicco Laboratories asking them to show why the two products should not be taxed as cosmetics.
Vicco Laboratories challenged the show cause notice in the High Court on the grounds that the Commissioner was trying to reopen and re-litigate the issues, which have been finally concluded by the decision of the High Court and the Supreme Court in favour of the petitioner. The show cause notice was therefore without jurisdiction and is an arbitrary exercise of power, which is an abuse of the process of law.
The apex court in its judgement yesterday has noted, ''Merely because a product is sold across the counters and not under a doctor's prescription does not by itself lead to the conclusion that it is not a medicament.'' It was also held that ''in product the percentage of medicament may be small but that by itself does not ipso facto mean that the product is not a medicament. It was held that generally the percentage or dosage of the medicament would be that much as can be absorbed by the human body and that the medicament would necessarily be covered by fillers/vehicles being ordered to make the product usable,'' the apex court added.
The court held that appeal sans merit, deserve dismissal, which we direct. The apex court also ruled that the High Court should not normally interfere at the stage of show cause notice, but if the show cause notice is abusing the process of law and without jurisdiction, the red court should not hesitate in interfering at the stage of show cause notice.