• Threats before marriage

Hi,

I am a NRI and was going to get arranged married to a girl. The only ceremony that I went through was Roka ( not even engagement).  When I started talking to the girl, she told me the things about her family that were not acceptable and I broke off the alliance. Now the girl's family is coming against us with a threat of a criminal law suit. What should I do??
Asked 4 months ago in Criminal Law from Canada
Religion: Sikh
Well, breaking of engagements in itself does not entail any criminal proceeding provided if the expenses borne by the girl side is compensated , more so, when the engagement is broken unilaterally by the boys' side.
However the girl side out of vengeance may come up with the allegation that due to non fulfillment of dowry deamnd you have cancelled the marriage.
Hence it is advisable that you negotiate with them and settle the dispute amicably. Return the arterioles if any gifted by them at the time of Roka.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
5226 Answers
54 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
 have you returned gifts received at time of roka?

2) mention that all gifts were returned and marriage has been called off due to compatibility problems 

3) no demands for any dowry were made nor  was any  engagement ceremony done 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) girl can file complaint of cheating against you on grounds that you refused  to marry her 

2) their case would be that breach of promise to marry amounts to cheating 

3) your defence should be that mere promise to marry and later on withdrawing the said promise will not amount to an offence of cheating at all. On such false promise to marry, the person to whom such promise was made should have done or omitted to do something that he would not done or omitted to do but for the deception

4) there are no materials available on record to show that because of the promise made by you  the  girl has done anything or omitted to do something which has the tendency to cause damage or harm to the body or mind or reputation or property of the  girl 


4) Hon'ble Supreme Court in G.V.Rao v. L.H.V Prasad and others (2000 93) SCC 693) wherein, in paragraph Nos.7 and 8, it has been held as follows:-

7.As mentioned above, Section 415 has two parts. While in the first part, the person must dishonestly or fraudulently induce the complainant to deliver any property; in the second part, the person should intentionally induce the complainant to do or omit to do a thing. That is to say, in the first part, inducement must be dishonest or fraudulent. In the second part, the inducement should be intentional. As observed by this Court in jaswantrai Manilal Akhaney v. State of Bombay a guilty intention is an essential ingredient of the offence of cheating. IN order, therefore, to secure conviction of a person for the offence of cheating, mens rea on the part of that person, must be established. It was also observed in Mahedeo Prasad v. State of W.B that in order to constitute the offence of cheating, the intention to deceive should be in existence at the time when the inducement was offered.

8.Thus, so far as the second part of Section 415 is concerned, property, at no stage, is involved. Here it is the doing of an act or omission to do an act by the complainant, as a result of intentional inducement by the accused, which is material. Such inducement should result in the doing of an act or omission to do an act as a result of which the person concerned should have suffered or was likely to suffer damage or harm in body, mind reputation or property.
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. The promise to marry is not legally enforceable, and can be broken before it is executed. Even engagement does not bind you to marry the person to whom you are engaged. Since you have been threatened with a false criminal prosecution you should file a criminal complaint for criminal intimidation and for being threatened with a false penal prosecution. 

2. Issue a legal notice to cancel the marriage and return the gifts that were given to you, 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18158 Answers
449 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. No criminal case will stand against you unless they can prove with evidence that you had asked for dowry and cancelled the marriage after being refused to be paid dowry,

2. If you have received any gift, then you should return the same forthwith to close the entire negotiation.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12123 Answers
231 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. You should return the gifts you have received from her side without waiting them to return the gifts they had received from your side,

2. & 3. The audio record of their admitting that you had not asked any dowry will stand as a good evidence in your support,

3. It is strange that they have recorded the conversation with the girl from the beginning. However, make sure that you have not asked anything from her as a condition for marriage. Any other conversation with her will not create any problem to you,

4. Your cancelling the 'Roka' will not affect your NRI status at all. If they file any police complaint, the same can be handled by your people in India,

5. To be at the safer side, you can lodge a police complaint against their thretening you false police complaint/case for not agreeing to marry her.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12123 Answers
231 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Cancelling the marriage before or after engagement is not a crime.

Her father cannot initiate any legal action for this cancellation since it is not a cheating offence nor a dowry demand case.

Let her father go ahead with a complaint, you can challenge the same as per law because the same is not maintainable. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14057 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Now they have been portraying that we insulted them. They showed my conversation with the girl on WhatsApp and recorded my conversation with her since the beginning. I have tried to be vigilant and not say anything that shouldn't be said. But still I am concerned about my NRI status and if I can be summoned back to India or not. Please let me know what can be done against me and how can I be prepared for it or avoid it.

You have not done a crime that they will lodge any complaint agaisnt you.

If they consider that the cancellation of marriage proposal is an insult, let them go ahead with their untenable complaint.

Even if they approach police with the complaint, the police cannot make you to visit India or they can force you to return to India. 

They cannot even send a notice to you at abroad.

Ask your parents to not let the police know your address or phone number in case they insist them.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14057 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) if any false dowry case is filed against you and your parents you have to obtain AB from sessions court 

2)the allegations made in complaint will have to be proved by the complainant 

3)police will issue notice to you and other family members to record your statement under section 41 A of CR PC 

4) investigations would be carried out and then charge sheet filed 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23291 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
If and when the FIR gets filed then you should apply for and obtain anticipatory bail immediately and then contest the case on merits. Engage a lawyer beforehand so that you may apply for bail without loss of time on registration of FIR.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18158 Answers
449 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
They can create any cock and bull stories, but what is the proof, all these things/allegations are to be proved by the during trial proceedings which they may not be able to do it then. 
For the present, since you are not in India, just remain calm, and as far as your parents are concerned , let them not visit the police station  even on being summoned for investigation, they have to first obtain anticipatory bail through your advocate a little before 12th August, they can visit the police station after obtaining AB to avoid being remanded by police to show their loyalty to the opposite party for the graft received. Let them not disclose your mobile number or passport number or your address at Canada, they should claim innocence of your particulars and also agaisnt the alleged offence, this can be challenged in court if there is a case in future in this regard. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14057 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. It is up to the girls's side to prove with evidence that you or your parents asked for dowry,

2. You shall have to submit evidence, if any, that you have not asked for any dowry,

3. You shall have to submit evidence of the resaon which made you calling off the negotiation for marriage. 
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12123 Answers
231 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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