• Legal implications of breaking an engagement

Dear Sir/Ma'm,
My engagement was done on 1st may 2016 with consensus of both the families.
however after speaking to the girl for some time (as we did not get much time to talk before) i felt that we both are not suitable for each other. Finally concluding and calling of the wedding which was scheduled to be on 25th november 2016. We informed the girl's family on 3rd August 2016 about same(4 months prior). 
after lot of discussions between both the families, they agreed upon this. My father sent a formal text on whatsapp apologising stating the breaking of engagement. to which girl father replied giving thier "OK" for same.
now after some days, they are asking for 6 lacs towards expenditure done by them for engagement and wedding preperation like hall , catering for wedding etc.
to give a rough idea both families spent around the same amount in engagement. and both have also spent nearly same amount for wedding bookings etc.
P.S : there was no physical relation between us. as she is in delhi with her family and i am in bangalore with mine. Also there was no scene of dowry etc.

I request you to answer answer these queries of mine :
1) can there be a legal case regarding this?
2) can text on whatsapp be taken as a proof towards thier "OK" for breaking engagement?
3) as both families have spent nearly same amount. do we still need to pay them?
    - if yes, can we ask them for proof of expenses?
Asked 1 year ago in Family Law from Bangalore, Karnataka
Religion: Hindu
you have to reimburse girl family expenses incurred towards engagement as you had called off the engagement 

2) you can request girl family to submit supporting documents for expenses incurred towards engagement and wedding preparation 

3) whats app messages can be relied upon  as proof of breaking engagement 

4) if you fail to pay girl family can file suit for damages against you and also file  some false case that you demanded dowry and when they refused to pay you broke off the engagement 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
45755 Answers
2693 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) Since you are backing out of the engagement, the liability to compensate them for expenses incurred will be yours legally, especially as your withdrawal is prompted by incompatibility.

2)OK" for breaking engagement can be interpreted as an OK as there was no alternate option .And giving OK implicitly does not take away their right to demand for compensation for expenses incurred.

3)Yes, as you have initiated the breaking of engagement. You can ask them to produce proof of payment made/ expenses incurred by the bride's family. You can only negotiate paying a lesser amount.
S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
2252 Answers
110 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. The promise to marriage, made symbolically through engagement, is not legally enforceable. Nobody can go to court to seek binding directions, to the person he has been engaged to, to marry him. Marriage can be called off due to supervening circumstances after engagement,

2. The expenditure incurred on engagement is not to be refunded, only the gifts exchanged are to be returned. 

3. Whatsapp conversation can be led in evidence in the court.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
22977 Answers
634 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1.  If there are proofs that both have spent equally for the engagement function, then there can be no claim about this from either side.

2.  The question here is not about breaking the engagement but it is about the claim for the expenses.  
With the evidence in your possession you may point blank refuse to pay any amount that was incurred by them for the marriage arrangement, it is a unfortunate that the marriage cannot be solemnised as proposed.  
In  humanitarian consideration you may genuinely accept any genuine request by legally you are not bound by it. 

3.  You can make a counter claim towards it, let them give a reply to your claim. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
35914 Answers
390 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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