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Asked October 31, 2013

Possible Legal Action: Breaking of Engagement

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My friend has been engaged to a guy who is an India turned American citizen recently. He came on short vacation and got engaged to her. Now after returning to US he broke off engagement with her with in a month and is not giving any proper reason. What kind of legal action can be taken for this kind of cheating. This guy is a friend of a very well known friend. That's why my friend trusted him and went for an engagement thinking his family back ground is Good. Both my friend and that guy are already divorced and on a verge of second marriage. Please advice.

Answer 1

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Asmita Rakhecha

An engagement in India does not legally bind the two parties to marriage, hence calling off or breaking an engagement does not make either party liable since there are no legal duties which arise out of promise to marry. The only remedy that you may opt for is to seek damages under Section 73 of the Indian Contact Act, 1872 which provides for compensation for loss or damage caused by breach of contract, if the marriage is a contract as in the case of Muslims. However since a Hindu marriage in India has not been granted the status of a contract and there are many debates surrounding whether a Hindu marriage is contractual in nature or sacramental, therefore it might be difficult for you to get a judgement in your favour.

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