Gurugram additional sessions court awards death penalty to personal security officer who opened fire at Judge’s wife and son

gurugram double murder case

The Gurugram District Court on Thursday gave the judgment in a case where Mahipal, an ex- Haryana police constable shot dead the wife and teenage son of Additional District Sessions court judge Krishnkant Sharma. The 34-year-old Mahipal was the personal security officer (PSO) to the district court judge and was entrusted with the responsibility for the judge’s and his family’s security. On October 13, 2018, he shot dead the judge’s 40-year-old wife and his 18-year-old son in broad daylight outside Arcadia mall in Sector-49. “Mahipal has been found guilty for murdering two innocent persons on October 13, 2018. As for the punishment, we will be advocating for giving the convict capital punishment for the act he has committed.

Facts of the case

The then Gurugram’s Additional District and Sessions Judge Krishant Kant’s wife Ritu and son Dhruv were allegedly shot by their Personal Security Officer, Mahipal, in South City-II market on October 13, 2018 in full public view. The prosecution produced 64 witnesses, including Mr. Kant, to prove the case against Mahipal, who was arrested two hours after the incident. The Additional District Sessions Court in Gurugram also levied a fine of ₹15,000 on him for the destruction of evidence and unlawful use of a weapon under the Arms Act. The horrific incident transpired on October 13, 2018. Mahipal, the PSO of Additional Sessions Judge Krishan Kant Sharma, had accompanied his employer’s wife and son to the market in Gurugram’s South City-II. Once a case was registered in this regard, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) with Deputy Commissioner of Police Sulochana Gajraj was formed to probe the matter. While addressing media outlets soon after, the DCP had revealed that Mahipal’s troubled past was key to finding out what resulted in him murdering his employer’s family members in full public view. PSO Mahipal was terminated from service following the incident that was described as “a cold-blooded act carried out in sudden provocation triggered by a minor verbal spat”.

In a hearing on Thursday, a Gurugram court declared him guilty after hearing the arguments of both the defence and prosecution lawyers. The quantum of punishment was fixed for Friday.

“The incident was a result of “accidental firing” and there was no motive behind the killing. Also, the judge’s kin did not file any misbehaviour complaint against Mahipal. We will challenge the judgment in the High Court soon,” said defence counsel, PN Sharma

“The convict is sentenced to capital punishment by hanging by the neck till he is dead,” read the judgment.” Also, the court observes that the case squarely falls with the ambit of ‘rare of rare cases,” it added.”The accused had planned the murder and he wanted to avenge some imaginary insult that he was subjected to by the victims. His act reeks of total meanness and depravity. The act amounted to a cold-blooded murder by one, whom the victims trusted for their safety. The killing of a helpless woman and her innocent child is a satanic crime of the highest order,” said the judgment.

Evidences found by the police during the investigation of the case

To establish the case, the police have presented circumstantial and forensic evidence, key among them being the gunpowder residue on Mahipal’s hand and on the car’s steering wheel, cellphone location of the accused and the victims, details of the phone call made by the accused to the judge and co-gunman after the incident and videos that went viral on social media, two eyewitness who had also shot the incident videos, dying declaration statement of Ritu, CCTV footage installed at the arcadia market, bullet cells of .38 revolver (weapon used in the crime) and bloodstains of the victim’s collected from the PSO’s uniform. The wife of the judge succumbed to her injuries on October 13, while Dhruv was declared dead after ten days at a private hospital. The entire incident recorded by bystanders shows the accused trying to haul Dhruv’s body into the white Honda City. Later he was arrested one and a half hours from the Gurugram-Faridabad road.

The whole incident occurred in a span of 10 minutes and after committing the crime the SPO informed the judge about the crime.The charge sheet in the case had been filed on December 26, 2018, and charges were framed on January 9 last year. During the hearing, Mahipal claimed he was not guilty and requested a trial.The SIT had submitted a 300-page charge sheet before the court on December 26, listing 64 witnesses, two eyewitnesses including the judge, Krishan Kant, and a fellow additional session’s judge. The case was filed on the complaint of Additional Session’s Judge Krishna Kant Sharma at Sector-50 police station.

“Gunshot residue and fingerprints also proved the prosecution’s case. Dhruv’s blood group matched with the bloodstains on Mahipal’s uniform. The call details of the accused proved his presence in the market at the time of the incident,” said Mr. Hooda, also the Deputy District Attorney. Complainant’s counsel Vishal Gupta said the accused had also called Mr. Kant and co-PSO Constable Vinay Kumar, admitting to his crime and both deposed before the court as prosecution witnesses.

The act of personal security officer comes under rarest of rare case

Additional Session Judge Sudhir Parmar, handing out the death penalty, said Mahipal Singh’s act comes under the “rarest of rare” case. “As a government servant, he had the responsibility to protect them. Instead, he breached their trust and gunned them down,” Parmar said. In October 2018, Singh had shot dead Ritu and Dhruva outside a shopping complex in Sector 49 here in broad daylight.

Explaining the sequence of events, prosecution lawyer Vishal Gupta said on October 13, 2018, the ASJ’s spouse and his son after returning from the shopping complex did not find Singh near their car. After a while when he came back, Dhruva sought the car’s key to place the purchased items inside the vehicle. Meanwhile, some heated exchanges took place in the short period of “taking the car’s key and boarding the car” which provoked Mahipal Singh to shoot both. It was later claimed that relations between Additional Session Judge Krishna Kant, his family members and Mahipal were “very healthy”. The heated exchange of words triggered Mahipal to first open fire at Dhruva, and then at the ASJ’s wife Ritu Kant when she tried to save her son. Mahipal, after shooting them, could be seen in the viral videos kicking and punching them. During arguments in court, Gupta also mentioned the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was gunned down by her two security guards Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. The co-conspirator Kehar Singh was also awarded the death sentence by the court. Defence lawyer PS Sharma, however, requested the court not to award the death sentence to Mahipal. In his argument, Sharma said Mahipal is the only bread earner of the family and also bears the responsibility of old parents, wife and two minor daughters. The court, however, turned down Sharma’s plea.

Edited by Pragash Boopal

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

I am Soma Singh from Sharda University School of Law, my interest areas are Corporate law, jurisprudence and ADR. I describe myself as an ambivert. Enjoys reading mythological tales