GURUGRAM: A personal security officer (PSO) who had in last October shot the wife and son of a judge he was assigned to protect will face trial for murder from February 1, finding himself on the other side in the same courts he would often go to as a policeman and the judge’s .
The sensational shooting took place on a crowded road in front of Arcadia market on a Saturday afternoon (October 13, 2018 at 3.30pm) and was followed by claims that ranged from ill-treatment of the PSO to his connections with a religious cult, all of which the police later summarily dismissed as speculation.
A special investigation team (SIT) concluded Mahipal was short-tempered and had lost his cool during an altercation over car keys with Dhruv, the judge’s son, and shot him and Ritu, the judge’s wife, in a fit of rage. Mahipal’s uncle Dhaan Singh, though, had said his nephew had no history of such behaviour and something had pushed him into violence.
The SIT submitted a 300-page chargesheet before court on December 26, listing 81 witnesses, including the judge, Krishan Kant, and a fellow additional sessions judge. The trial will commence in the court of district and sessions judge R K Sondhi who, on Wednesday, framed charges against Mahipal under sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC and Section 27 of the Arms Act.
Public prosecutor Anurag Hooda said the court will now record statements of witnesses. During the hearing, Mahipal claimed he was not guilty and requested a trial. Mahipal and his family have, however, not engaged a lawyer yet and he is being represented by a counsel from the legal aid service. Sunil Kumar Sharma, who is representing Mahipal, said, “We will prepare for trial.”
Mahipal had driven away from the crime scene in the judge’s car right after the shooting, which several onlookers captured on their cellphones, and was arrested within two hours. Additional sessions judge Krishan Kant, in his statement to the police, had said he was in the court complex when he received a call on his mobile from Mahipal, who told him he had shot the judge’s wife and son.
Ritu and Dhruv (17) were shot at point-blank range by Mahipal from his service on the road in front of the South City-2 market. He shot Ritu twice, in the chest and stomach, and Dhruv thrice, once on the shoulder and twice in the head.
Videos showed people screaming in horror as Mahipal tried to pull Dhruv, who lay bleeding and unconscious on the road, into the back seat of the family’s white Honda City. After two failed attempts, he left the boy on the road and drove off.
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