India: Man overcharged Rs20 for railway ticket wins court case after 22 years

Tungnath Chaturvedi was given the wrong amount of change after he handed over Rs100 to the ticket clerk

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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

By Web Desk

Published: Thu 11 Aug 2022, 10:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Aug 2022, 10:37 PM

It took 22 years for a man from the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to win a court case against the railways over an overpriced ticket that he had bought at the Mathura cantonment railway station counter.

The incident took place in1999 when lawyer Tungnath Chaturvedi paid Rs20 extra for two tickets.

The court rule in Chaturvedi's favour and directed the railways return the extra amount with interest.

"I have attended more than 100 hearings in connection with this case," Chaturvedi, was quoted as saying in a BBC report.

"But you can't put a price on the energy and time I've lost fighting this case."

Chaturved was travelling from Mathura to Moradabad when the ticketing clerk overcharged him.

Each ticket cost Rs3, but when he handed a Rs100 note, he got back only Rs10. The clerk took Rs90 for two tickets instead of Rs70.

The clerk did not return the extra charges when he approached him, so he decided to file a case against North East Railway (Gorakhpur), and the booking clerk in the Mathura consumer court.

"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," said Chaturvedi.

"But we used a 2021 Supreme Court ruling to prove that the matter could be heard in a consumer court," he added.

After long delays, the court ruled against the railways and ordered them to pay a fine of Rs15,000, and refund the extra charges of Rs20 at 12 per cent interest per year, from 1999 to 2022.

If the amount was not paid in 30 days, the interest rate would be revised to 15 per cent, the court ruled.

Though the compensation he received was not substantial, Chaturvedi believes that no matter what a person's official designation is, they "can't get away with wrongdoings if people are prepared to question them about it”, the report said.

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