In other burning issues that need to be resolved urgently, the Delhi High Court has delivered its verdict on whether women’s footwear that doesn’t have a back strap is a sandal or a chappal. It is, as you were dying to know, a sandal.
The judgement came in response to Chennai-based footwear manufacturer Wishall International’s challenge to the Revenue Department’s insistence that women’s footwear without a back strap is a chappal and not a sandal. The dispute stems from the fact that sandals and chappals have different customs duty drawbacks, and invited the expert opinions of the Customs Department in Delhi, the Council of Leather Exports, and the Footwear Design and Development Institute in Noida.
When the case reached the High Court this week, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Najmi Waziri ruled in a strongly worded judgement that the Centre and the Revenue Department “acted upon prejudice and a preconceived notion that ladies sandals cannot be without a back strap.” The justices went on to say, “Apart from this, the court wonders whether any of the experts in this case was a woman, the ultimate customers”. So do we, judges, so do we.
This isn’t the first time a High Court has had to take controversial stances on important issues. High Courts in India have in the past delivered verdicts on issues ranging from who exactly owns the rights to the name tunday kabab (Mohammed Usman), whether a certain temple elephant should have its forehead decorated with Thengalai namam or Vadagalai namam (Thengalai namam) and whether a Whatsapp group admin is responsible for the contents of the group (she isn’t).