SC said Refund cost if you call off engagement

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After three years of litigation, a Delhi man’s family realised on Friday that breaking a marriage alliance after enjoying the engagement party made them liable to reimburse the cost. In 2012, a government doctor finalized the marriage of his son, who was in the real estate business, with a girl from Thane in Maharashtra. The ‘roka’ (engagement ceremony) took place in Delhi on June 8, 2012. The girl’s parents spent lavishly in 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 the expenses they incurred on the 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 the Bombay HC seeking quashing of the case. The HC refused, saying a case of cheating was made out. Appearing for the boy’s family in the SC, senior advocate Rana Mukherjee told a bench of Justices J S 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 a case of a prospective matrimonial alliance going sour.

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