Legal consequences of breaking off an engagement

penalty for breaking engagement

An engagement, betrothal, or fiancee is a guarantee to marry, and furthermore the timeframe between a marriage proposal and a marriage.

Introduction To Breaking off An Engagement

Breaking off an engagement is fundamentally a breach of contract/agreement in the legal sense and a suit for damages for that can lie. Nonetheless, it might be included that, with just the premise of engagement one can’t be compelled to marry against his wishes. Engagement does not commit a man to wed the one to who he/she is engaged. The gifts traded or exchanged ought to be returned forthwith. Moreover, the costs acquired by both the families on engagement ought to be reimbursed.

As indicated by the present Indian laws, engagement does not amount to marriage. Marriage, according to law, is sacramental. The marriage customs are recognized by the Indian laws and not ‘Engagement’. There would be no legal consequences or penalties in the event that you breaking off an engagement with the individual whom you are engaged to since marriage was not solemnized by the laws.

Be that as it may, on the off chance that you have traded or exchanged any gifts or thought amid and after the engagement then it would be proposed to return each one of those gifts to the other party in light of the fact that the other party may file a suit against your family for cheating or misrepresentation or fraud. Furthermore, comparably, you can likewise reimburse the gifts or any consideration which you vested on the other party amid or after the party. Other than that on the off chance that you need to break your engagement, you are allowed to break it since there is no legal status given to an ‘engagement’. However, there are some legal actions which could be made against you and are as per the following –

Legal consequences of breaking an engagement :

1. Breach of Promise

To prove the breach of guarantee the other party must prove that you had in the past guaranteed to wed him. Also, he had acted and adjusted his way of life in view of the guarantee to marry. And, lastly resulting in monetary loss. In the event that these conditions are proved by the other party, the breach of promise to wed is proved then you will be liable to pay damages.

In Mukesh v State of Karnataka (2014), it was said in the event that there is a guarantee or promise to the wedding and which has been breached, the other individual can establish a civil case and claim damages.

In Rudresh v State of Karnataka (2014), the Court held that the breach of contract only institute a civil suit for damages and ought not to be considered as an offense.

2. Cheating

Under IPC segment 415 – Cheating is characterized as “when a person, fraudulently or dishonestly, induces another person to do something which he would not do otherwise, and such an act causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to that person in body, mind, reputation or property.”

Cheating is a culpable/punishable offense under the Indian Penal Code. On the off chance that Cheating is proved by the party, the other party can be condemned for one-year imprisonment or fine or both under section 417 of the Indian Penal Code. [Christian Chidieere Chukwu v State of Karntaka (2016)]

In any case, you have a stronger likelihood to win the case since you can prove through the messages that how the individual has been behaving. You can likewise admit other proof which proves that the individual has been harassing you. Be that as it may, on the off chance that he institutes a case saying that it brought about harm to real damage or bodily harm, mind or reputation or property then you need to show more grounded proof to prove that it didn’t.

Loss of reputation led to trouble in finding another match for the other party, said in N. Sukumaran Nair v P. Narayanan (1996). Similarly, mental trauma or bodily harm is proved by then it is culpable/punishable under IPC.


And still, at the end of the day in the event that the other party is still threatening you towed, you can look for the assistance of the police in the wake of breaking off an engagement.

Note: If the other legal plan of action is failed that being said Courts have been as of late granting compensation to the party if the other party breaks off the engagement in view of the trauma and pain they had to go through. Likewise, the money spent on. Although you won’t be compelled to wed the individual you are engaged to.

To Note – In this article, the term “he” refers to both “he” and “she”.

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by mimansa pujari

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