August 16 (RailTech) – An Indian lawyer who in 1999 took Indian Railways division North East Railway to court over 20 rupees (24 eurocents) has emerged victoriously, the BBC reports. This means a legal battle that dragged on for close to 22 years comes to and end.
The case boiled down to a dispute over a refund. When Tungnath Chaturvedi, the lawyer in question, bought two tickets to Mathura to Moradabad for 35 rupees each, he was only given 10 rupees change for his 100 instead of 30. While Chaturvedi pointed out to the ticket clerk that he had overcharged him, a refund did not happen. Taking a principled stance, Chaturvedi took North East Railway and the clerk to court.
So began a long court battle that suffered various delays over the years. Chaturvedi, too, got pushbacks from the railways. “The railways also tried to dismiss the case, saying complaints against the railways should be addressed to a railway tribunal and not a consumer court,” the BBC quoted the lawyer as saying.
Several years into the case, Chaturvedi’s family got fed up. Yet he pressed on and in the end attended 120 hearings in the case. “It’s not the money that matters. This was always about a fight for justice and a fight against corruption, so it was worth it”, according to Chaturvedi.
The railway company was ordered to pay Chaturvedi 15,000 rupees (182 euros) plus 20 rupees at 12 percent interest per year for the 1999-2022 period.