World India man wins 22-year court battle against railways over 21 pence

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An Indian man has won a case related to an overpriced railway ticket after almost 22 years.

Tungnath Chaturvedi, a lawyer, was charged 20 rupees ($0.25; £0.21) extra for two tickets he had bought in 1999.

The incident occurred at Mathura cantonment railway station in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

A consumer court last week ruled in Mr Chaturvedi's favour and asked the railways to refund the amount with interest.

"I have attended more than 100 hearings in connection with this case," Mr Chaturvedi, 66, told the BBC. "But you can't put a price on the energy and time I've lost fighting this case."

Consumer courts in India specifically deal with grievances related with services. But they are known to be overburdened by cases and sometimes it can take years for even simple cases to be solved.

Mr Chaturvedi, who lives in Uttar Pradesh, was travelling from Mathura to Moradabad when a ticket-booking clerk overcharged him for the two tickets he had bought.

The tickets cost 35 rupees each, but when he gave 100 rupees, the clerk returned 10 rupees, charging 90 rupees for the tickets instead of 70.

He told the clerk he had overcharged him, but Mr Chaturvedi didn't get any refund at the time.

So, he decided to file a case against North East Railway (Gorakhpur) - a section of the Indian Railways - and the booking clerk in a consumer court in Mathura.

He said it took him years because of the slow pace at which judiciary works in India.

 
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