The Delhi high court has passed a unique order in which it chose to clarify that a woman's footwear without a back strap is a sandal and not a chappal. The court was hearing the contention of the government which had argued a woman's footwear without a back strap is a chappal and not a sandal.
The issue came up as the export of sandals attracts 10 per cent customs duty drawback, while that of chappals attracts only five per cent duty. The government had withdrawn a 10 per cent duty drawback given to a footwear manufacturer saying the footwear exported by it was chappals as these did not have back straps.
The bench observed that the Centre and the revenue department acted upon prejudice and a preconceived notion that ladies sandals cannot be without a back strap. The court held that the orders upholding duty drawback withdrawal and imposing penalty cannot be sustained.