Guwahati: The Railway Ministry has revised and amended Refund Rules in a comprehensive manner and notified them to come into force from July 1, said a Northeast Frontier Railway release has said.
The amendments are aimed at simplification, efficiency in processing and reduction of bogus refund claims, N-F Railway Chief Public Relations Officer S Hajong said in a press release here.
The Railway Passengers (Cancellation of ticket and Refund of fare) Rules, 1998 had not been substantially revised in the last 15 years when a large number of changes took place in the ticketing system of Indian Railways, Hajong said.
The proliferation of computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS), computerised Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS), reservation through internet, Integrated Train Enquiry System warranted that the Refund Rules be revised comprehensively, he said.
The major changes in the existing rules and the amendments in Refund Rules were different for reserved tickets, Unused (unreserved) tickets, tickets issued in advance, reserved unused tickets, various air-conditioned class tickets, party ticket or a family ticket, RAC, E-tickets, Tatkal tickets, etc.
Under the new rules, the time for filing of refund claims has been reduced from existing 90 days to 10 days of the train's departure in case of unforeseen circumstances like strike or any natural causes like floods.
According to the new rules, even those with waitlisted or RAC tickets would have to cancel their tickets three hours before the train's actual departure to get the refund after deduction of clerkage charge of Rs 30 once the new rules are implemented from July 1.
New rules would not allow any refund two hours after the train's departure. Existing rules permit cancellation till three hours after the train's departure.
Revised rules would reduce last-minute cancellation and give Railway more time to confirm and upgrade tickets of other passengers in the waiting list, railway officials said.
Justifying the revision, the Railway Ministry said "railway passengers (cancellation of ticket and refund of fare) Rules, 1998, have not been substantially revised in the last 15 years during which a large number of changes have taken place in the ticketing system of Indian Railways."
Railway said passengers seeking duplicate tickets for their confirmed or RAC tickets will have to pay Rs 50 per passenger in case of second and sleeper class and Rs 100 per passenger for other classes instead of paying only the clerkage charges as per existing rules.
The postponement or advancement of a journey will now be allowed in the same class and for the same destination instead of any longer distance or any higher class by any train.
Present rules allowed passengers to travel longer distance if they surrendered their tickets 24 hours before the train's scheduled departure. Under the new rules, such passengers would have to present their tickets 48 hours before the journey.
"In case no current counters are available at journey originating station for night trains leaving between 9 pm and 6 am, refund shall be admissible at the station within first two hours after the opening of reservation counter," the ministry said.