BANGALORE: Those indulging in extramarital affairs are leaving a digital trail behind: messages on Whatsapp, Facebook, even Google Talk are now easy evidence permissible in court.

It was this tech proof that Rita Singh (name changed) armed herself with when she decided to call it quits with husband Geet (name changed). Geet was having an affair, and Rita had accessed evidence of his infidelity — a string of messages he exchanged with his girlfriend on Whatsapp.

With the number of young couples opting for divorce in IT City going up by leaps and bounds, there’s a growing trend of such digital evidence making its way into court files.

This is helping lawyers in a big way, who would otherwise have a tough time getting evidence and proving adultery charges. Last year, in Bangalore district jurisdiction, 4,000 divorce cases were filed while this year, the number has already touched 1,500 by June. Of these, 40% of the cases are divorces being sought on the ground of adultery and extramarital affairs.

“All clients come with either a record of messages exchanged on Whatsapp or on various chat sites. In case the spouse removes the girlfriend or boyfriend’s number after dialling from the mobile, the partner calls up the mobile service provider and asks for that number’s call history,” said family court lawyer Geeta Menon. Earlier, especially in the age of landlines, it was difficult for lawyers to get such proof, said Menon.

Spurt in adultery cases

With a high 40% cases being filed on grounds of adultery, the obvious question is — who are married persons getting involved with? With working professionals, it’s mostly colleagues, while homemakers get linked up with someone from their social network. Business associates is the other group with whom a spouse could get involved.

“In tech-savvy groups, there’s always an exchange of emails and text messages even if they avoid phone calls. Once their partners get access to such information, it isn’t too difficult to prove charges of adultery,” said Ujwala Mandgi, lawyer at the Family Court… see more