Tungnath Chaturvedi bought two tickets to Moradabad from the booking window at Mathura Cantonment railway station on 25 December 1999. At the time, one ticket cost Rs 35. A hundred rupee note was given to the clerk by Chaturvedi at the window. Rather than receiving thirty rupees back, he received only ten.
A lawyer from Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh told ThePrint that he received a handwritten ticket at the time because computers weren’t available. Even though I brought it to his attention immediately, the booking clerk charged us Rs 20 extra and refused to refund the remainder.”
In addition to North East Railway (Gorakhpur) and the reservation clerk, Chaturvedi included Mathura Cantonment station in his complaint.
There followed an apparent never-ending legal battle that spanned more than a hundred court hearings. It has taken almost 22 years for Chaturvedi to finally win his lawsuit over the Rs 20 he sued them for. Earlier this month, the Mathura consumer court ruled in his favor.
The Indian Railways were ordered to pay the attorney the twenty rupees within 30 days with interest at a rate of 12 percent per year from 1999 to 2022, according to Navneet Kumar, president of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Matura.
In addition to paying legal fees, the railways must also pay a fine of Rs. 15,000 to make up for the hardship the plaintiff had financially and psychologically.
Additionally, Kumar directed that the interest rate be raised to 15% per year if the aforementioned sum is not paid within a month.
Although Chaturvedi, 66, thinks the settlement is modest and doesn’t fully make up for the years he spent pursuing the case, he noted that for him, the struggle was worth it.