PSO held guilty of killing judge’s family, sentence on Friday
Charges were framed against Mahipal Singh under sections 302 (murder) and 201(destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of the Arms Act on January 9, 2019, for the double murderUpdated: Feb 08, 2020 16:07 IST
The Gurugram district and sessions court on Thursday held 32-year-old Mahipal Singh, a personal security officer, guilty of shooting the wife and son of an additional sessions judge, in broad daylight, at the Arcadia Market in Sector 49 on October 13, 2018. Sudhir Parmar, the additional sessions judge, will pronounce the quantum of punishment for the double murder on Friday.
Singh was attached to additional sessions judge Krishan Kant and was escorting his family at the time of the incident. He has been lodged in Bhondsi jail since the incident, the police said.
Charges were framed against Singh under sections 302 (murder) and 201(destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of the Arms Act on January 9, 2019, for the double murder. The court had framed the charges after submitting the final investigation report by the police in the first week of last January.
The police had listed 81 witnesses, of whom 64 recorded their statements in court, including doctors from Paras Hospital, where the injured were first taken, and Medanta Hospital, where the victims died, forensic experts and police personnel associated with the investigation.
Vishal Gupta, counsel for Kant, said, “Now, the case is posted for advancing arguments and pronouncement of sentence to be imposed on Singh. In lieu of the magnitude of the terrifying insane act and the brutality exhibited by PSO while executing the crime in question, the prosecution will pray to the court for an exemplary punishment, which is a death sentence, to be imposed upon him.”
He said that the dying declaration of the victim to a judge was more than sufficient to establish the crime.
Singh, a resident of Bhungarka village in Haryana’s Narnaul, had been with the judge’s family since April 2017, when he was posted to a Gurugram court.
The police said that Singh was escorting Kant’s wife Ritu, 38, and son Dhruv, 18, to Arcadia Market when he shot them with his service revolver (.38 bore). He shot Ritu twice in the chest and stomach and Dhruv thrice, once on the shoulder and twice in the head.
Within minutes of the incident, eyewitnesses had started sharing video clips on social media. In one such clip, the PSO was seen trying to shift the unconscious boy to the rear seat of the judge’s white car. After failing to do so, he is seen giving up the attempt and driving away, with a gun in hand.
As per eyewitness accounts, Singh first drove towards Sohna Road and returned shortly to try and ferry the judge’s son inside the car, before driving away.
He was arrested two hours later from the Gurugram-Faridabad Road, said police.
While Ritu had succumbed to her injuries on the same day, Dhruv died in a private hospital 10 days later. Kant, who was posted in Gurugram at the time of the incident, is currently posted in Ambala.
Mahipal’s counsel, Prem Shankar Sharma, said that he would argue on the quantum of sentence. “The case is not intact for section 302 (murder) and is a fit case of section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) because there was no premeditation, intention or motive behind the shooting. The incident took place after a heated argument and scuffle over a painting. I will appeal in the high court if the quantum is pronounced under the above sections on Friday,” he said.
Public prosecutor Anurag Hooda said that a special investigation team (SIT) formed by the police to investigate the team had collected extensive evidence on all fronts to strengthen the case. “The CCTV footage collected from the spot, in which Singh was seen firing at the judge’s family, was crucial to establish the crime committed. It was also established through eyewitness reports, ballistic report, fingerprints of the PSO on the gun, the victims’ bloodstain on the PSO’s clothes and phone location. Call details also corroborated the fact Singh had called the judge and another PSO, Vinay, who was also posted with the judge, after the incident confessing his crime. These were sufficient for his conviction,” he said.