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‘False and misleading’: Indian Railways debunks viral claims that said IRCTC account holders cannot book tickets for people with different surnames

On Tuesday (25th June), the Spokesperson of the Indian Railways debunked fake news circulating on social media, which falsely claimed that under new railway E-ticket booking rules, new restrictions have been imposed on booking tickets for others and that people would be jailed for booking tickets for passengers with different surnames. The Spokesperson categorically dismissed the claims, stating, “The news in circulation on social media about restrictions in booking e-tickets due to different surnames is false and misleading.”

Notably, it all started after some media reports falsely claimed that new restrictions had been imposed on booking IRCTC tickets for others and that booking train tickets for others via personal IRCTC ID can land you in jail. reported that according to Section 143 of the Railway Act, only officially appointed agents are authorized to make bookings for third parties. Violating this rule can result in legal action, including a potential jail term of up to 3 years and a fine of Rs. 10,000. It also mentioned the “same surname rule”.

(Snippet from article)

The report added that the new regulation mandates that individuals “can only book tickets for blood relations or those with the same surname”, using personal ID. Booking for friends or others could lead to a hefty fine of Rs. 10,000 or a jail term of up to 3 years, or both, the report had further claimed. 

Soon, several X users started sharing the media report with many of them peddling it with further misleading claims and false allegations against the Indian Railways. Some of the users deleted their posts after the Indian Railways debunked the false claims.

Many users expressed concerns that, in many cases, post-marriage, many women retain their maiden surnames. If the news turns out to be true, it could become criminal for a spouse to book tickets for their partner or vice versa, they lamented.

Allaying their fear, the Spokesperson of the Indian Railways busted the fake claims. It categorically asserted that the claims about restrictions in the booking of e-tickets due to different surnames are “false and misleading.”

It clarified that tickets from the IRCTC Site are being booked as per Railway Board Guidelines. It stressed that IRCTC users can book tickets from their User ID for “friends, family and relatives”, which strikingly can be irrespective of the passenger(s)’ surname. Additionally, one user can book up to 12 tickets per month which could go up to 24 per month, in case of proper authentication through Aadhar. 

However, the release mentioned that the ‘commercial sale’ of tickets on personal user IDs is an offence. While users can book tickets for others, irrespective of surname, selling tickets booked on their ID for monetary gain is a crime.

The requirements stated in the press release are as under – 

1. One can book tickets on a personal User ID for friends, family, and relatives.

2. Booking can done for up to 12 tickets per month which in the case of Aadhaar-authenticated users can go up to 24 tickets per month if one of the passengers on a ticket is also Aadhar authenticated.

3. Tickets booked on personal User IDs are not meant for commercial sale and such an act is an offence under section 143 of Railways Act 1989.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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