Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To strengthen case, lawyers, litigants make beeline for private eyes

To strengthen case, lawyers, litigants make beeline for private eyes



Litigants in the city are hiring more than lawyers to help them win cases. In fact, with the stakes getting higher and higher, many of them have started approaching private detectives to collect evidence against their opponents in court. In turn, the detective agencies assure clients that the “litigation support” provided by them will be completely “admissible under the laws”.

Interestingly, cases reaching private detectives mostly concern couples either planning to get married or already married. Those yet to get married hire detectives for pre-marital verifications regarding job profile, salary, family details and other habits and also to check on the spouses’ fidelity before they take the plunge. Similarly, post-marital verifications involve those who doubt the fidelity of their spouses and are looking for a conclusive answer to their apprehensions.

“Significantly, more women approach us for vetting spouses than men. They want peace of mind after a comprehensive probe and we help them. Through discreet surveillance and undercover operations, our investigators assist them in determining if the other spouse is being dishonest in the relationship. Audio and visual evidence collected are later produced in court while seeking divorce on this ground,” said Ajit Singh, who runs Hatfield Detectives in Satya Niketan.( click the link) 

Singh said men often approach them for help in alimony battles. “In several cases, married women seek alimony from husbands claiming they are unemployed and depend on their estranged husbands for maintenance even though they are employed and earning. We collect evidence like their salary slips, cheque and bank account details, attendance register etc to nail their lies in the court,” he added.

While pre-marital investigations cost a minimum of Rs 15,000, post-marital probe can cost anywhere between Rs 20,000 and Rs 60,000. “Given the situation where a man can be asked to shell out lakh of rupees apart from harassment, what we charge is nothing and people happily pay us,” Singh said, adding his clients are not limited to the upper strata of society.

Major Ashok Bhalla, director of A B Detectives, said: “Apart from marital cases, we are also hired for assisting a party in cases of cheating, forgery and property disputes. We gather documentary evidence in such matters by using our resources and contacts. We retrieve papers inaccessible to litigants and take them to court.”

Nirmal Mishra, a lawyer, supports the idea of hiring private detectives for strengthening his case. “Why can’t we hire detectives for gathering some more evidence? No lawyer or his client wants to lose the case. When we have the convenience, we should use it to our benefit,” he added.



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