The local suwidha centre here has been charging excess amount for the past few years from couples who come for registration of their marriage, a right to information (RTI) inquiry has revealed.
It has been found that the suwidha centre has been arbitrarily charging `1,826 as marriage registration fee, excluding government fee, while the same fee on a single registration is `700 in other nine districts.
The RTI was filed by advocate Santokh Singh Bangarh.
Bangarh said Moga, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Faridkot, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Ferozepur, and Muktsar Sahib districts are charging `700 as registration fee.
He said other suwidha centers at Banga and Balachaur in Nawanshahr district are yet to file reply to his RTI application.
He said as per the procedure, if anyone registers within three months of their marriage, court fee stamps worth `1,500 shall accompany memorandum as government fee.
He further said if anyone registers after three months, he/she would have to pay a late fee of `1,000.
After six months, the marriage could be registered only after written permission from the district registrar of marriages, subject to payment of `1,500 as government fee.
Bangarh demanded a high-level inquiry into the alleged bungling of funds. He will move the Punjab and Haryana high court against the suwidha centre officials, Bangarh said.
Deputy commissioner Anindita Mitra claimed that the entire process of preparing file, scanning of documents, photographs till the registration is being done at the suwidha centre while the same is not being done in other districts.
Mitra said applicants have to prepare the entire file themselves in other districts while they get all these facilities at the centre in Nawanshahr.
She ruled out any bungling of funds at the centre, claiming that she has checked the records and an audit is conducted annually.