A section of media, have published news regarding changes in the Railway Refund Rules. In this regard, the Ministry of Railways clarifies that there has been no change in the Refund Rules which have been notified in June 2013 and have been brought into force with effect from 1st July, 2013. According to the notified refund rules, passengers on a confirmed ticket can avail refund upto 50% of the fare provided the ticket is cancelled within 2 hours of the departure of the train.
For the purpose of clarification, the refund rules relating to cancellation of unused confirmed reserved tickets are summarized here below:-
i. if the ticket is presented for cancellation more than forty eight hours in advance of the scheduled departure of the train, a minimum per passenger cancellation charge shall be deducted at the flat rate of rupees one hundred and twenty for air-conditioned first class/executive class, rupees one hundred for air-conditioned-II tier/first class, rupees ninety for air-conditioned III-tier/ 3 economy/air-conditioned chair car, rupees sixty for sleeper class and rupees thirty for second class.
ii. if the ticket is presented for cancellation between forty eight hours and upto six hours before the scheduled departure of the train, cancellation charge shall be twenty five per cent of the fare subject to a minimum of the cancellation charge.
iii. if the ticket is presented for cancellation within six hours before departure and upto two hours after the actual departure of the train, the cancellation charge shall be fifty per cent of the fare subject to a minimum of the cancellation charge.
iv. No refund shall be granted on the reserved ticket if it is surrendered for cancellation after two hours of the actual departure of the train.
Passengers may continue to avail refund of confirmed tickets under the above rules as there is no change in the Refund Rules.
Again the refund rules relating to cancellation of Unused waitlisted or RAC tickets are summarized here below:-
If a Waitlisted/RAC ticket is presented for cancellation, refund of fare shall be admissible after deducting the clerkage as per following:-
a. The ticket is presented for cancellation upto three hours after the actual departure of the train irrespective of the distance.
b. The passenger may get the tickets cancelled from any PRS counters or the designated current counters.
c. No refund of fare shall be granted on RAC ticket /Waitlisted ticket after three hours of the actual departure of the train.
d. In case no current counters are available at journey originating station for night trains leaving between 21.00 hours and 06.00 hours(actual departure , refund shall be admissible at the station within first two hours after the opening of reservation office.
e. In remote and hill areas as identified by the Zonal Railways with the prior approval of the General Managers and print in their Time Tables for train leaving between 1900 hours and 0600 hours (actual departure) refund shall be admissible at the station within first two hours after the opening of reservation/booking office, in case there is no reservation counters/booking office/ current counters. Available in that area.
Similarly, the refund rules relating to cancellation of e-tickets and Tatkal Tickets have also been notified which are effective from July 1, 2013.
Further, under special circumstances like bandhs or agitations or floods, etc. where the passengers could not reach the reservation counters or stations for cancellation of tickets, a TDR (Ticket Deposit Receipt) shall be issued to the passenger upto three days after the scheduled departure of the train and the passengers may apply for refund of fare within ten days from the scheduled commencement of journey to the Chief Commercial Manager (Refunds), of the Zonal Railway concerned. The refund application shall then be considered on its merits based on the circumstances of the case.
Commercial circular no. 6 of 2014 dated 21.2.2014 is an internal circular seeking to remove the inconsistency between the computerised application (based on earlier circular of 2004) and the notified refund rules. Under this circular of 21.02.2014, CRIS has been advised to make requisite changes in the computerised PRS application so that the computerised application is aligned and made consistent with the Refund Rules and to ensure that the refunds are issued in accordance with the notified rules.
Passengers shall continue to get refunds across the counters for all waitlisted and confirmed tickets as per refund rules provided such refunds are sought within the prescribed time limits.