It took him 22 years, but Tungnath Chaturvedi (66) finally got his 20 rupees (25 cents) back after he'd been overcharged for a train ticket in 1999.
He'd purchased a Mathura station in Uttar Pradesh to go to Moradabad. He was charged 90 rupees instead of 70. He asked for a refund on the spot but was refused. He filed a complaint with a consumer court. After 100 hearings, he got his 20 rupees plus interest. The railway was also fined 15,000 rupees ($188) which Chaturvedi will receive.
From The Guardian:
What is surprising is Chaturvedi's pertinacity over a minuscule amount, including taking the case right up to the supreme court when a railway tribunal dismissed the case.
His family tried to convince him that it was pointless and a waste of time and money, even though he represented himself and so had no legal fees to pay, but he was adamant. "It's not the money that matters," he told the BBC. "This was always about a fight for justice and a fight against corruption, so it was worth it."
Equally surprising was that Indian Railways, the country's largest employer, chose to continue fighting the case.
"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 Mr Chaturvedi. A railway claims tribunal is a quasi-judicial body set up to address claims related to train travel in India.
"But we used a 2021 Supreme Court ruling to prove that the matter could be heard in a consumer court," Mr Chaturvedi said. At other times, hearings would get delayed because judges were on vacation or condolence leave, he added.