Sandal and Chappal
It refers to a Division Bench of Dellhi High Court giving a verdict that woman's footwear without back-strap is sandal, and not a chappal. Interestingly the case reached to Delhi High Court because of strange tax-laws where duty-drawback on export of chappals and sandals is different at five and ten percent respectively.

It is indeed unfortunate that courts already seized up with so many pending court-cases have to decide on such petty issues which can and should be rationalised by having minimum categories of commodities for taxation purposes. Even though decision of Division Bench of Delhi High Court is final in case Supreme Court is not approached further, yet confusion will always remain in minds of commoners if women's footwear without straps should be considered as chappals or sandals. Central government should immediately remove the confusion by categorising all footwear (ladies or gents) into one single category of 'footwear". However tax-slab can be different according to price-slab if so desired.

Excise and custom duties on items with different tax-rates should be according to ex-factory price rather than linear dimensions like presently exists in case of cars and cigarettes. Super costly luxury cars with lower length attract lower rate of excise duty while comparatively lower-priced cars with lengthier size attract higher rate of excise-duty.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal,

Concentration Camp?
On 20th January 2017, Mr K N Ramachandran, the General Secretary of the CPI (ML) Red Star, who boarded a Howrah-bound train from Lucknow to Kolkata went missing after he alighted at Howrah at 5 PM on 22nd January. He had gone to Kolkata to visit Bhangar in South 24-Parganas district of West Bengal to undertake an on-the-spot study of the ground reality where a popular mass movement has been going on and flared up during the recent days against the acquisition of land by land-mafias for the establishment of a power-grid station flouting all environmental norms. There is reason to believe that his mobile phone was tapped and the police had prior information about the details of his travel and arrival at Kolkata.

When he alighted from the train at Howrah station on 22nd in the afternoon, he was illegally taken into custody by the Kolkata police.

For two days he was kept incommunicado by the police and finally after a lot of hue and cry about his whereabouts he was later released by the police.

Another incident that went rather un-noticed was the arrest and frame-up of yet another lawyer Murugan from his residence in Salem. Murugan who belongs to Theni district was actively working for the release of political prisoners-mostly alleged Maoist under-trials-in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Murugan was specifically targeted as he was providing legal assistance to the political prisoners.

It is high time that human rights groups, lawyers, progressive, pro-people organisations should expose the hollowness of the so-called rule of law as claimed by the State in general and various state governments.
 Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners,
New Delhi

Vol. 49, No.34, Feb 26 - Mar 4, 2017