The new rule will be applicable from February 1, according to a Railways notification. "Any passenger found travelling in the train on the berths booked under Senior Citizen Quota by declaration of wrong age should be treated as travelling without ticket and charged accordingly," the new rule said.
Because of false declaration of age, the passenger is misusing both concession and quota depriving the eligible passengers of a confirmed lower berth, it added.
As per the current policy of railway travel concession, male senior citizen of the age of 60 years and above, women senior citizen of the age of 58 and above are granted 40 per cent and 50 per cent concession respectively in all classes of Mail/Express/Rajdhani/Shatabdi etc, trains.
No proof of age is required at the time of purchasing tickets. However, during journey, the senior citizen is required to carry prescribed documentary proof issued by any government agency showing their age or date of birth.
At present, in case the senior citizen is not able to produce the requisite proof of age during the journey, he/she is charged only the difference of fare (between full fare and concessional fare).
Senior citizens have also been provided a facility to get confirmed lower berths under the quota. Misusing senior citizens quota and concession, some people book ticket by giving wrong age and in case they are detected they give the difference of fare.
There have also been cases wherein agents use this method to cheat passengers. They book the ticket through wrong declaration of age and, subsequently, modify the e-ticket by giving correct age and dupe the passengers.
"That is why decision was taken to charge full fare in case of false declaration of age," a Railways official said.
Necessary instructions are being issued to all concerned, specifically ticket checking staff, with a note of caution to be patient and tactful while handling such passengers to avoid any complaint regarding harassment.