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'Homely' bride prompts lawsuit

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 07/06/2006 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

Citing the potential bride’s protruding teeth, bad complexion and poor English, a family in Massachusetts called off an arranged marriage and filed a lawsuit for damages.

The Hindu family, residing in Belchertown, Mass., had agreed to an arrangement proposed by Hindu friends in Maryland to marry their niece, who lives in India, the Springfield Republican newspaper reported.

But the father of the groom-to-be, Vijai B. Pandey, 60, filed suit after family members saw the selected bride in New Delhi last August. The Pandeys, according to the lawsuit, were “extremely shocked to find … she was ugly … with protruded bad teeth, and couldn’t speak English to hold a conversation.” The woman’s complexion also was cited.

The civil suit against Lallan and wife Kanti Giri of Boyds, Md., seeks $200,000 in damages. The charges include fraud, conspiracy and violation of civil rights resulting in emotional distress, the Massachusetts paper reported.

Lallan Giri said the family pleads “not guilty, 120 percent.”

While the Giri’s current attorney had no comment, their former lawyer, Matthew R. Hertz, claimed the Pandey mischaracterized the original plan.

“It was more of an informal ‘would you like to meet her’ … no money ever changed hands that would require reimbursement,” Hertz told the Springfield daily.

When the Giris initially proposed the marriage, the lawsuit states, the Pandeys noted Pranjul was handsome, personable and spoke English, and asked if the young woman was “equally beautiful … and a good match.”

The complaint contends the Giris assured the Pandeys the woman was comparable and would learn English. The Giris allegedly agreed to compensate Vijai Pandey “for everything,” if their niece was found unsuitable.

The Pandeys received a photo of the potential bride but said they “couldn’t tell much” from it. They followed up, however, with long telephone calls to India and sent money for a passport in anticipation of her eventual move to the U.S.

The lawsuit says Vijai Pandey’s wife Lalita, their daughter Pramila and Pranjul, went to India last August to finalize the wedding. The Pandeys arranged for the bride-to-be, her mother and her sister to rendezvous with them in New Delhi.

The marriage was called off after an Aug. 22 meeting.

Vijai Pandey claims the Giris knew all along the young woman “was homely and unsuitable and no match for Pranjul.”

The Giris have refused to give Pandey any money.

Pandey has filed a number civil complaints since the 1980s against defendants such as Massachusetts judges and lawyers, an insurance company and others, the Springfield paper said.


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