The man was shortchanged by $ 0,25: he sued for 20 years to return this money
After 22 years of litigation with the North Eastern Railway (a division of Indian Railways), Tungnat Chaturvedi, an Indian lawyer, has finally received a refund for tickets he bought in 1999, overpaying $0,25 for them, reports Insider.
“I have attended more than 100 hearings on this case,” Chaturvedi, 66, said. "But you can't appreciate the energy and time I lost fighting this case."
In 1999, Chaturvedi visited the ticket office to buy two train tickets from Mathura to Moradabad, both in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India.
The tickets cost 35 rupees ($0,44) each, but when he gave 100 rupees ($1,26) to the cashier, Chaturvedi received only 10 rupees ($0,13) as change.
Chaturvedi told the employee that there had been a mistake, that he had overpaid 20 rupees ($0,25) more, but he was denied a refund. Deceived and angry, he decided to sue the railways and the cashier in the Indian Consumer Court.
The legal battle dragged on in part because the railroads were trying to move the case from consumer court to a railroad tribunal. “But we used the 2021 Supreme Court ruling to prove that the case could be taken to consumer court,” Chaturvedi said.
He added that the delays were also due to the fact that the judges were on vacation or other vacations.
Chaturvedi made more than 100 appearances in court between 1999 and 2022, and his family urged him several times to drop it, calling the years-long struggle a waste of time.
But nevertheless he persisted. "It's not about the money. It has always been about fighting for justice and fighting corruption,” Chaturvedi said.
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After an epic legal battle last week, the railroads were ordered to return Chaturvedi's money. He will receive 20 rupees at 12% per annum. If the money is not paid within 30 days, the interest rate will be raised to 15% per annum, according to the Indian newspaper The Print.
The railways must also pay him a fine of 15 rupees ($000), according to The Print.
Chaturvedi said he hoped the case would inspire others not to give up "when the fight looks tough".
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