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Gashem Shookat Baksh vs Court of Appeals

On July 23, 2011 0diggsdigg

Sharebar 0diggsdigg 219 scra 115 Article 21 of the Civil Code This is an appeal by certiorari. On October 27, 1987, without the assistance of counsel, private respondent filed with the aforesaid trial court a complaint for damages against petitioner for the alleged violation of their agreement to get married. She alleges in said complaint that she is 20 years old, single, Filipino and a pretty lass of good moral character and reputation duly respected in her country; other petitioner, on the other hand, is an Iranian citizen residing at Lozano Apartments, Guilig, Dagupan City, and is an exchange student, before August 20, 1987 the latter courted and proposed to

marry her, she accepted his love on the condition that they get married; they therefore agreed to get married. The petitioner forced her to live with him in the Lozano apartments. She was a virgin at that time; after a week before the filing of complaint, petitioners attitude towards her started to change. He maltreated and threatened to kill her; as a result of the complaint. Petitioner repudiated the marriage agreement and asked her not to live with him anymore and that the petitioner is already married to someone in Bacolod City. Private respondent then prayed for judgment ordering petitioner to pay her damages. On the other hand, petitioner claimed that he never proposed marriage to or agreed to be married with the private respondent and denied all allegations against him. After trial on the merits, the lower court ordered petitioner to pay the private respondent damages. ISSUE: Whether or not Article 21 of the Civil Code applies to the case at bar. HELD: The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an actionable wrong. Notwithstanding, Article 21, which is designed to expand the concepts of torts and quasi-delicts in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the statute books. Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which defines quasi-delicts thus: Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. In the light of the above laudable purpose of Article 21, the court held that where a mans promise to marry in fact the proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a woman and his representation to fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate cause of the giving of herself unto him in sexual congress, proof that he had, in reality, no intention of marrying her and that the promise was only subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or inveigle her to accept him and obtain her consent to sexual act could justify the award of damages pursuant to Article 21 not because of such breach of promise of marriage but because of the fraud and deceit behind it, and the willful injury to her honor and reputation which followed thereafter. It is essential however, that such injury should have been committed in a manner contrary to morals, good customs, or public policy.