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The engagement ring seems to be a hot topic and no, it’s not just Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma’s When Harry met Sejal. And while people around the world are finding new ways to propose and set the bar high with #proposalgoals, a young couple in Sydney showed us what happens when things go south. As love disappeared and it ultimately resulted in a cancellation of the wedding, a man sued his ex-fiancee for the expensive engagement ring he that then given to her.
As Shakespeare wrote, “Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably,” this couple surely gave a new meaning to it. Edwin Shien Bing Toh proposed to Winnie Chu Ling Su with a lavish $15,500 diamond engagement ring, but once the wedding was called off he wanted his gifts returned, said a Sydney Morning Herald report. And when she refused, Edwin dragged Winnie to court for not keeping the promise when in reality HE called off the wedding just 10 days before D-Day!
Along with $5,000 worth of expensive gifts – including a diamond necklace and Louis Vuitton handbag, a Longines watch, an iPhone, two wedding bands an additional $1,000 cash – he filed a petition at a local Sydney court for them to be returned to him.
The court now had he unenviable task of deciding what would happen to the gifts exchanged during times of love. While giving the verdict, Magistrate Rodney Brender refused to order the return of the expensive engagement ring, ruling, “the gift of an engagement ring should be seen as unconditional”.
According to a report by SMH, the magistrate examined English and Australian cases to reach a conclusion and said the gifts could be made conditional by “words or conduct” but “here there were none”.
“Many gifts are given in happy times and with optimism. Sometimes that optimism is borne out, sometimes it isn’t. Why would the law treat a gift of a ring between same sex couples as different? Or between couples who give a ring in anticipation of a de facto relationship starting and prospering?” he said.
After Edwin broke the engagement in presence of a friend, his then fiancee and he had agreed to “everything that belongs to each party will be returned to each party”. After the verbal decree, the woman asked the man to take off the shoes he was wearing on the spot, as it was gifted by her. He obliged and gave it back to her. Soon she visited Edwin’s parents’ house with her mother and took away a wallet she had given him, along with gifts her parents had bought for him and his parents.
However, she never returned the gifts received by her. Brender said Edwin agreed to Winnie’s “emotional demand” to return his shoes because she asked him to, rather than because they had a contract, and he “may have felt a little guilty for breaking off the engagement 10 days before the wedding”.
The couple – who knew each other since 2015 – had even opened a joint account. The magistrate, however, ordered the return of the wedding bands totalling $1,300 and $1,000 in cash from a joint account. He ruled the bands were in a different category because they were bought “in contemplation of marriage”.