Indian lawyer Tungnath Chaturvedi, 66, has won his lawsuit against the North East Railway (Gorakhpur) after a 22-year battle. The man had to pay an extra 20 rupees (0.24 euros) to buy two train tickets he bought in 1999. Last week, a consumer court finally ruled in Chaturvedi’s favor and asked the railways to pay the amount along with interest. “It is not the money that is important, but the fight against corruption and justice,” Chaturvedi told the BBC.
The accident occurred in 1999 at Mathura Cantonal Station in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Tungnath Chaturvedi, then 44, bought two train tickets for 35 rupees each, but when he gave 100 rupees to the ticket clerk, he only got 10 rupees back. When the writer refused to correct the wrong return, the Indian lawyer decided to file a lawsuit against the Indian Railways and the employee.
“I’ve attended over 100 hearings related to this case, but you can’t put a price on the energy and time you lost fighting this case.” Consumer courts in India specifically deal with grievances related to services, but the courts are known for their years of litigation.
Chaturvedi blamed the slow work of the judiciary in India, where hearings are often postponed because judges have been on leave or have been bereaved. In addition, the railways also attempted to obstruct the course of the lawsuit by referring to the Railway Court, a quasi-judicial body set up to hear cases related to train travel in India. The Supreme Court decided in 2021 that the case could still be continued in consumer court.
Compensation of 182 euros
After the long battle, the railway company was nevertheless ordered to pay a fine of 15,000 rupees (182.30 euros) in addition to recovering the wrongly charged 20 rupees from Mr Chaturvedi, at an interest rate of 12 percent per annum since the accident. in 1999. If the amount is not paid within 30 days, the interest will be adjusted to 15 percent.
Al Hindi feels the compensation does not outweigh the psychological harm the case has caused him. His family tried several times to prevent him from continuing to work, but she continued to work. “It is not the money that is important. It has always been about fighting for justice and fighting corruption, so it was worth it.” “Because I myself am a lawyer, I also didn’t have to pay my lawyer or have to travel to court. This can get very expensive.”
He believes his cause can be an inspiration to others. “You don’t have to give up, even if the battle seems difficult,” Chaturvedi said.
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