Legal validity of Sagai or Betrothal


Question asked on: 03/08/2015

What is the legal validity of sagai?

Advised by: Shivendra Pratap Singh,

Sagai or Betrothal is a contract of marriage. According to Manu when a girl a is promised in marring to one man, the good men do not give her in marriage to another man.

Sagai or Betrothal is a contract of marriage. According to Manuwhen a girl a is promised in marring to one man, the good men do not give her in marriage to another man.

Sagai is a valid agreement, both parties to the agreement are bound to perform their liability unless any certain specific defect are discovered or both parties have better choice to marry another person.

According to Narada a man who withdraws from his contract without proper cause may be compel to marry the girl against his will. However above mentioned view is not applicable and irrelevant today but a party who suffered loss due to withdrawn of agreement has right claim special damages which is caused to him.

In Pursottam vs Pursottam it has held by the court that if some money has spent on fest or other things, as part of celebration of sagai, the amount to spent may be recovered as special damage.

In some parts of India custom allows a man who has a wife living to contract a sagai marriage if he is a childless man, if she begot child then she shall be entitled to maintenance, the child would take the property as legal heir.

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Shivendra Pratap Singh

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