⦁ Never say can’t!
⦁A fight against Injustice
⦁ The amount does not matter cause matters
On the 5th of last month, we heard through the Indian court that an Indian national named Chaturvedi had won a case filed 22 years ago against injustice. It is special because he worked tirelessly for that victory. Several Indian media had reported this. The incident took place at the Mathura Cantonment Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh, North India. The case was filed on December 25, 1999.
Advocate Tungnath Chaturvedi arrived at the railway station intending to travel from his native town of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh to Moradabad. The officer at the ticket window had charged 20 rupees more than the fixed price for his two tickets. The fixed price of a ticket was 35 Indian Rupees. Instead of 70 rupees for the two tickets, he was charged 90 rupees.
When Tunganath Chaturvedi gave 100 rupees, he was given only 10 rupees as the balance money. He told the officer that he had been charged too much, but he did not give him the shortfall of the money. Aggrieved by this incident, he decided to file a case in the Consumer Court at Mathura against the Indian Railways North Eastern Railway Department and the ticket counter officer. He has appeared in numerous court sessions for this case. Finally, after 22 years, he was able to win the case.
Chaturvedi had commented on this to the Indian media as follows.
I attended more than 100 hearings for this case. Sometimes the railway department even tried to dismiss my case. They said that complaints against railway issues should be made in a railway tribunal and not in a consumer court. But we used a Supreme Court decision in 2021 and proved that a case like this can be tried in a consumer court. Judges were adjourning the case due to holidays and mourning days.
I cannot put a price on the effort and time I spent in my life on this case. As I am also a lawyer, I did not want to pay the fees paid to lawyers. If I had to incur such expenses, I would have to bear a huge expense. The main reason for this is that the Indian judiciary is slow. The compensation I received was very little. There is no end to the shock in my heart due to this case.
Judiciary in our country is slow and people don’t get justice because they don’t have time and patience. But I didn’t struggle. Because I am a lawyer, I took my case patiently…’
He had also said that his family tried several times to convince him that his case was pointless and a waste of time and money.
My children always asked why I am fighting. But I got my money’s worth. We fight for the rights of others. If we have faced injustice, why don’t we fight for our rights?’ he questioned them.
After a long battle, the court gave its decision and ordered the railway department to pay an amount of INR 15,000 (Rs 69,000 in Sri Lankan currency) and to repay the amount of INR 20 to Chaturvedi with 12% interest per year from 1999 to 2022. Also, if this amount is not paid within 30 days, the court has further informed the Railway Department that the interest rate will be revised to 15%.
Chaturvedi knew that he would win this case no matter how long it took. Indian consumer court deals with people’s grievances. But it takes them a long time. That is because of the slow administration in the country.
A close friend of Chaturvedi had also expressed his opinion about this victory.
A person who has been pursuing justice and truth for the people for a long time. He always fought for the good of someone else or for an injustice that happened to him. He has received many awards for his contribution to society.
In 1971, he has also received the war medal for his service during the Indo-Pakistan war. He was about 15 years old at that time. He helped provide water and food to the people. To support the government and administration of the time, they helped to maintain peace among the people. He really didn’t want money. To stand up against corruption in this country. To eliminate corruption in the country…’
At the end, Chaturvedi emphasized to the people of his country that regardless of a person’s background, no one can avoid making mistakes if they stand up against their mistakes and corruption. Chaturvedi gave a valuable example to everyone through his case that no matter how difficult the fight is, one should not give up the fight until life lasts.
Even in our country, we have seen many times that such injustices happen almost every day. For example, conductors of public transport often avoid returning the balance to the passenger. But rarely does anyone raise their voice against it. In this way, the amount fraudulently collected from the passengers may be very high. It is everyone’s right to raise their voice against such conductors who are unjustly robbing hard-earned money. That way, the money passengers will be very significant.