Lawyer Tungnath Chaturvedi, 66, was on a train from Mathura to Moradabab in 1999 and had to buy two more tickets. He spoke to the conductor and he gave him 100 rupees (1.22 euros). Then the ticket cost 35 rupees, so Chaturvedi had to pay a total of 70 rupees, but the conductor only returned 10 rupees. The lawyer requested the correct change, but the collector refused to pay him. So the guy paid 20 rupees (0.24 euros) too much.
So Chaturvedi went to court and sued the railway company and the conductor. The lawsuit went on for years. “I attended more than 100 hearings on this issue,” the man told the BBC. “But you can’t put a price on the energy and time you lost fighting this cause.”
The railway company tried to drop the case, claiming that the wrong legal body was involved, but Chaturvedi was aware of his order and used a special ruling of the Supreme Court to advance the case.
After 22 years, the court has now decided that he has already paid too much. The railway company is fined 15,000 rupees (182.50 euros) and must pay Chaturvedi 20 rupees at 12 per cent interest in the year that has passed. If this amount is not paid within 30 days, this percentage increases to 15.
The lawyer described the compensation as “weak” and according to him is not sufficient to compensate for his psychological suffering. “It is not about money. It has always been about fighting for justice and fighting corruption, so it was worth it.” And because I’m a lawyer, I also didn’t have to pay my lawyers or have to travel to court. It can be very expensive.
According to him, his legal battle can be an inspiration to others and that “you don’t have to give up, even when the fight seems tough.”
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