Rtn. Adv. Sonia
Legal Implications of Breaking Engagement or Calling off a Marriage

Legal Implications of Breaking Engagement or Calling off a Marriage

In India, breaking an engagement or calling off a marriage can have legal implications depending on the circumstances and the actions taken by the parties involved. It's important to note that marriage laws in India are governed by personal laws based on religion, and there may be variations in legal implications across different religious communities.


1.       Breach of Promise to Marry: Under Indian law, there is no specific legal provision for breach of promise to marry or breaking an engagement. Unlike some other countries, Indian law does not generally recognize a legal claim for damages based solely on a broken engagement.


2.       Civil Remedies: In certain cases, a person may file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for mental agony, emotional distress, or financial losses incurred due to the broken engagement. However, to succeed in such a claim, the person would need to establish that there was a legally binding agreement to marry, that the other party willfully and without reasonable cause broke the engagement, and that the person suffered quantifiable harm as a result.


3.       Dowry-related Cases: In situations where the engagement was accompanied by the exchange of dowry, the legal implications can be more serious. If the engagement is called off due to dowry demands or related issues, the affected party or their family may pursue legal action under the Dowry Prohibition Act, which prohibits the giving or taking of dowry. This can lead to criminal charges against the other party and their family.


4.       Mutual Consent: If both parties mutually agree to call off the engagement, it is generally easier to resolve the matter without legal consequences. However, it is advisable to document the mutual consent in writing, which can serve as evidence if any disputes arise in the future.


5.       Social Consequences: Breaking an engagement or calling off a marriage can have significant social implications in India, where marriage is considered a sacred institution. The individuals involved may face societal stigma, damaged reputations, and strained relationships with family and friends. Its also observed that the relatives from the Groom’s side or that of the bride’s side engage in levelling false allegations and derogatory comments. In such event one can institute a criminal complaint and press charges of defamation.


It's essential to consult with a qualified lawyer who specializes in family law to get accurate and up-to-date legal advice tailored to your specific situation. They can provide guidance based on the relevant personal laws and help navigate the potential legal implications in your case.


Please note that this information is not exhaustive, and there may be additional factors and complexities to consider depending on the specific circumstances and applicable personal laws. 

Sonia and Partners is a Bangalore based Boutique law firm led by Adv. Sonia Rajesh supported by a team of qualified and among the best lawyers in Bangalore practicing in the area of Family Law and Criminal defence serving Citizens of India, Overseas Indians, NRIs and Global International Clients.

Feel free to write to us at mail@lawyersonia.com or call at +91 9845944896 if you wish to consult or discuss your matter.

Did you find this write up useful? YES 0 NO 0
Sonu   29 Mar 2024 12:00pm
Hi sir/madam, My engagement happened on 28 December 2023 agreeing in front of our families in arranged marriage fashion.Marriage date was fixed on April read more

C2RMTo Know More

Something Awesome Is In The Work









Sign-up and we will notify you of our launch.
We’ll also give some discount for your effort :)

* We won’t use your email for spam, just to notify you of our launch.

SAARTHTo Know More

Launching Soon : SAARTH, your complete client, case, practise & document management SAAS application with direct client chat feature.

If you want to know more give us a Call at :+91 98109 29455 or Mail info@soolegal.com