Breaking off Engagment
Respected Sir, I got engaged in last 22nd June 2016, I was working in a leading software company abroad. I got an offer from Singapore with salary 3.15 Lacs Per Month. I was unable to take up the offer as my fiancee's family wanted me to work in Bhubaneswar, Odisha as they claimed that they had no son and wanted me to be around. I decided to leave my job in the software company and shift to Orissa and started working here. Her mother was paralyzed for three years and I have been taking goiod care of her like my own mother. I have stayed in her house for last 8 months.
On the engagement day I completed formalities with the Nikhila Utkala Alia Khandayata Samaja which prescribed that we must marry within 6 monthsand it was decided that we will marry in January, 2017. In January, my fiancee's father communicated that the marrigae cannot be scheduled before two years due a family problem. My family has been trying to convince them to hold the ceremony in January itself. My finacee and her family is not convinced and my fiancee has been lying to me in every single matter whether it's small or big. She is not willing to respect my family members and talking to them very rudely. Threatening me many times, and written in some Magazine that she will commit suicide in the Marriage Mandap if she has to marry me.
To manage the situation we have informed our Samaja people to guide us in the process. The Alia Khandayata Samaja called one meeting on 10th Feb 2017 at Berhampur, and finalized to break off this engagement and asked her family to return all gifts given to her and her family during the engagement. My family and I had given One Gold Nickels (70K) and one Diamond ring (27K), one Lehenga dress (21 K) , one Sarees ( 8K) and silver items to her as gifts. All the things she only forced me to buy this as her own choice. In addition to this the girl, took Rs. 80,000 from me for some business. They only given me only one Gold ring which cost is (17K) and my dress also I have purchases my side only. Unfortunately, they are not returning any item and have been bad mouthing me and family. In fact, her father has alleged that he transferred Rs. 50,000 to my account after the engagement Khandayata Samaja but when the senior people in the Samaja asked him to show the bank statements corroborating his point,he was unable to show it. I am willing to pay Rs. 1 lakh and he can keep all the gifts given during the engagement, if he wants money but I want him to cancel the engagement paper.
I have discovered, that during the wedding of my fiancee's eldest sister, her father had created a similar situation 9 years ago which eventually led the sister and the brother-in-law from distancing herself from the family. My fiancee has been harassing me the whole tiem, sending extremely rude and bad messages on whatsapp and mails. She has threatened that she will go to the Police and the Women Commission mine and take action against me threatened to take action against me. My family is going through a hard time due to this incident. I request you, to kindly help me in this situation. Please suggest me what should I do next… Thanks & Regards
An engagement or agreement does not mean that you have to marry the girl or you have to maintain her in any way. An engagement has no legal value. You are free to marry anyone you want. The agreement formulated under the guidance of the Samaj has no value as it has been terminated publicly. Right now you must try to get back the money you have given the lady and her family.
Unfortunately she can also create some trouble for you . The possible legal issues she can create for you and what you can do about it and the possible legal avenues for you are enumerated as -
1. Breach of Promise - For suit to succees the lady will have to show that she made adjustment in her life which led to monetary loss. If you are not marrying her then you could be liable to pay for that monetary loss but cannot be compelled to marry her. (Mukesh v State of Karnataka (2014); Rudresh v State of Karnataka (2014)). Instead, you can also file a suit for it and demand that she pays the damage for the changes you have made in your life.
2. Cheating - She can file a complain for Cheating under Section 415 of the Indian Penal Code. With the support of the Alia Khandayata Samaja and Nikhila Utkala Alia Khandayata Samaja a you can show that you intended to continue the relationship at your end. In fact if you have proper evidence, you can file a case for cheating against the lad and her father.
3. Rape - In case you have had sexual relations with her she may file a case agaisnt you for rape. To defend yourself make sure you have a proof to show that the sexual relation was consensual at both end. There have been cases where a woman has had sexual relations with a man as the man promised to marry her. In such cases, even though the sexual relation was consensual, the Courts have considered it as rape < http://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/man-gets-10-years-jail-for-raping-woman-on-false-marriage-promise-1210327> . Therefore it is very important to be extremely careful with respect to a complaint on rape if you have had sexual relationship with her.
4. Dowry - A complaint can be filed for dowry demands against you and your family members. In case you have never demanded anything then it will be difficult to establish the calim. Be careful, as often evidences and witnesses are fabricated in such cases. If you have never made any demands then challenge every evidence or witness presented by her family.
5. Live-in relationship - The Courts have recognized live - in relationships as a form of cohabitation and have granted maintenance petition filed by women against men. Considering that you both lived in the same house, she may file a case for maintenance which can be allowed by the Court. To deal with this you will have to prove that it was not a live -in relationship and was just a temporary arrangment.
In addition to these issues, you can also file a complaint against the lady for the repayment of Rs. 50,000 that you have given her. Preserve the bank details of the amount given to her and make sure that the community members involved in the different Samajas under whose supervision you have tried to negotiate, are supportive to your claim.
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