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You cannot enjoy the engagement party and then say no to marriage: SC

  • You cannot enjoy the engagement party and then run away from marriage, according to a judgment by the Supreme Court.                 After three years of litigation, a Delhi man's family realised in Supreme Court on Friday that breaking off a marriage alliance after enjoying the engagement party at the girl's place made them liable to reimburse the cost.

    In 2012, a government doctor finalised the marriage of his son, who was in the real estate business, with a girl from Thane in Maharashtra. The engagement ceremony, or 'Roka', took place in Delhi on June 8, 2012.

    The girl's parents spent lavishly on entertaining the prospective groom's family and friends.

    But the boy's family later called off the alliance claiming that the girl's family had suppressed facts about her. Infuriated by the turn of events, the girl's parents filed a case under Section 420 (cheating) of IPC against the boy and his father in Thane.

    The father and son sought anticipatory bail from a Thane court which, after mediation proceedings, asked them to pay Rs 1.50 lakh to the girl's parents towards reimbursing the expenses they had incurred on the 'Roka' ceremony. The boy's family claimed they had spent Rs 4.50 lakh for the ceremony. But the trial court asked them to compensate the girl's family.

    The boy's family paid up, but the girl's family did not withdraw the case.

    The boy moved Bombay high court seeking quashing of the case. The HC refused, saying a case of cheating was made out.

    Appearing for the boy's family in SC, senior advocate Rana Mukherjee told a bench of Justices JS Khehar and Arun Mishra that once the girl's family was compensated for their expenses, there was no question of any cheating in the matter, which was purely a case of a prospective matrimonial alliance going sour.
     
    Mukherjee said, "There was also a technical glitch in the FIR registered by the girl's family. Though the 'Roka' ceremony took place in Delhi and the expenses were incurred here, they chose to file the FIR in Thane, where police had no territorial jurisdiction over the case."
     
    However, he said he would not stress on the technical objection as the money demanded by the girl's parents was paid.

    He said there was no allegation of any dowry demand. The bench asked Maharashtra's chief standing counsel Nishant Katneshwarkar whether the prosecution had any objection to the case being quashed since the expenditure incurred by the girl's family had been reimbursed.
     
    After Katneshwarkar said he had no objection, the bench quashed the case pending in Thane, recording that "the entire amount allegedly spent by the complainant has been paid up".
     

    OUR TAKE

    There have been many cases in the past where one party of the marriage was duped by the other. In some cases it happens after marriage, in the form of dowry or it could be before the marriage ceremony, like in this case. But iff the bride finds out about some shady business, then of course, he should have the right to pull back from the marriage. Such matters do need more looking into.


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