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Calling off marriage after engagement.

Hi, I got engaged to a girl 2 months back. Marriage is planned on 30th nov 13. But after the engagement i realized that we are absolutely not compatible. I can't even imagine my life with her. My expectations from my life partner are way too different than what she actually is, so I'm not at all attached to her yet. There wouldn't be any point in marrying if I'm not happy as it would ruin both of our lives. I'm about to cancel the marriage. I have conveyed this to my family and after much debate they have finally agreed to do so. There was no exchange of money neither was any kind of dowry was discussed as me and my family are absolutely against it. The engagement was carried out traditionally and there were around 200 guests. The engagement expenses were bourne by girl's family which I'm ready to pay off in full. I don't see that this break up will be mutual as her family is very orthodox and can't consider calling off marriage after engagement.  I'm ready to apologize to them in whatever manner they want me to. But I don't want any legal repurcussions out of this. I'm an engineer and working in a private organization. Anything legal complication will ruin my career and my family's social esteem. Me and family are very scared of anything such.  Now the the biggest worry is that can her family file a false dowry case against me? Though I'm not sure whether they will take this matter legally or not. I'm deeply frustrated to read about false dowry cases. If they do have a case against me, what precaution should I take while breaking and after the break-up. There is still one week left for me to convey them the message. Any help in this matter is welcome. Thanks.


 9 Replies


Dowry case not possible.

Though possible will be a fake one.

They might cite that you have pressurized for dowry and file a false case, that is the common trend these days.

Secure AB as soon as possible for you and your family memebers.

If there is VDO recording of such incident, make multiple copies of same as it will come handy.

Fight based on merits of the case if they do so.

Just my personal opinion, if they are so very orthodox family, they would not apporach police, instead you are ready to pay them back whatever it is, pay them back, and make a VDO recording to that effect to save your arse if things go haywire.

This time see, if its a CD, or an audio cassette, as you cannot shove a audio cassette into a CD drive, and vice-a-versa. find someone who is compatible in all ways to you as this is not a question of 1 day or 2, but of a whole life time.  Good that you realized so fast.

1 Like


Thank you for your quick reply.

What could be the immediate legal prblem for me and my family of a fake dowry complaint? Can Anticipatory bail be taken even before they lodge a complaint? Can I end the engagement legally?

Audio and video recording is fine and I'm already considering that. I'm so stressed and frustrated now with this incidence that I can't think of my marrigae again. I just want to end this without any trouble.

Originally posted by : Yogesh Deshpande

Thank you for your quick reply.

What could be the immediate legal prblem for me and my family of a fake dowry complaint?

If the girl's side is successful in lodging an FIR, and if you and most importantly your lawyer does not have any clue about it, then you will sit inside for a good 2-3 weeks, together with who all are named in the chargesheet, until you get regular bail.

Can Anticipatory bail be taken even before they lodge a complaint?

You did not read properly.  AB only after FIR is filed, not before that.


Can I end the engagement legally?

Engagement does not hold any legal value, no question of ending it legally.

I'm so stressed and frustrated now with this incidence that I can't think of my marrigae again.

Marriage again, is something else.

Do not hurry to get into a conclusion about marriage.

I just want to end this without any trouble.

Nothing to worry.  Even if they are trying to lodge false dowry case also, it wont be that easy.

Things have changed very much now.  

On recieving such complaint, the police will ask you to come to PS, then take your statements via VDO recording, then if they find that you have tried to extort money from the girl, then they will take action, till then you have got lot of time if they file FIR, as it is not such a easy process that you read where in I write here.

Police procedures take time.  If you have good lawyer, then no need to worry.

No need to take any kind of tension at all.  You have broken engagement, not marriage.

1 Like


Thanks again.

I have contacted a local lawyer who has suggested that sending a legal notice to them with all the details like reason for breakup, my apologies for the same prior to the break-up discussion will strengthen my side of innocence. Will it help?

Somewhere I read that as soon as they file a complaint We'll be arrested. So I was scared.

I have discussed this whole situation with a psychologist also to get help in tackling this issue better. Will her statement be helpful if anything legal issues arise? She is qualified Doctor.

ktkaran (maanger)     11 July 2013

Yogesh,better pay them their expenses of engagement via cheque and get it in written legally and settle.if possible have video recording of same.



Thanks for your reply.

Yes I'm ready for that but want to check all the options and threats that I might need to face in this regard.

Dr. Jyothi Vishwanath (Associate Professor of Law)     11 July 2013

Instead of starting the whole thing legally, it is better that the elders of your family convey the real situation to the girl's family. They can tell that all expenses will be paid. You are thinking too much. Legal case relating to dowry etc are rare possibility. As you said that the family is orthodox, they may not make the issue big.  

Kapil Chandna (Lawyer at Supreme Court of India)     12 July 2013

Dear Sir,

The very use of the term engaged itself suggest that you are not married, so there are ways in which you can mutually sit with the girl's family and settle the issue.

There are certain consequences attached I supose if you call off without even informing the girl or her family.i.e breach of contract and they could claim damages from you. But it is pertinent to mention that they can not ask the court to get the marraige performed because Specific Refliefg Act does not provide for specific performence of there such contracts.

So kindly take the steps with great precaution.

Advocate Kapil Chandna


Advocate Ravinder (Advocate/Attorney)     12 August 2013

Not only dowry case, they can also file cheating case. Hence, follow the advice of Jyothi vishwanath.  Every thing will be all right.  Inspite of that, they are ready to file case, defend the same with boldness, as you have not done any crime or sin.  Engage a experienced lawyer.  This is normal in the society. 


You are thinking of your safety only, but imaging what is the agony going on in the family of the girl.  There will be lot of doubts and bad rumours in the soceity that why the engagement is stopped.  Is there any fault with the girl.  This will damge the prospects of her marraige. See that this mistake will never happen again.  

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