Because of 25 cents... an Indian lawyer wins a lawsuit that lasted 22 years

An Indian lawyer has won a 22-year lawsuit against the state railway company for selling him a ticket at 20 rupees above its base price, and confirmed yesterday (Friday) that he is continuing the legal battle to establish the truth, according to Agence France-Presse.

In 1999, Tungnath Chaturvedi bought a ticket from his hometown of Mathura in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh to go on Christmas Day to Moradabad, 300 km from his home region.

But the ticket clerk sold the lawyer a ticket for 90 rupees ($1.12) instead of its base price of 70 rupees (87.23 cents).

After his repeated requests for a refund were rejected, Chaturvedi filed a case with the Mathura Consumer Protection Court, which this month reached a ruling requiring the railway company to pay damages to the lawyer of 15,000 rupees ($186.78).

Chaturvedi said in a statement to Agence France-Presse before the court that "the issue was not about obtaining compensation, but about my rights," adding, "I, as a citizen, have the right to launch a process of reviewing the abusive and corrupt practices of the state or one of its institutions."

This case highlights the chronic slowness of the judicial system in India, whose courts handle about fifty million cases.

"I was frustrated with the delay that usually occurs in trials, but I was determined to continue the case until the verdict," Chaturvedi said.

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