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Army officer runs away from law

December 07, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Dec 6: An army officer enjoying pre-arrest bail, in a case of issuing bogus cheques for Rs5.4 million, fled a court room here on Thursday, sensing that the judge might revoke his bail.

Major Atif Khan Jadoon of 42 Cavalry unit quietly left the district and sessions’ court as the judge Kamran Basharat Mufti retired to his chamber to make up his mind on the major's plea to confirm his interim bail.

His fears proved true, as the judge returned from the short break to reject the plea. But the officer had vanished long before the court crier shouted his name to appear before the judge to hear his decision.

Police investigator Assistant Sub-Inspector Ishtiaq told Dawn that the case of fraud started with the steel merchant Ahmed Ali who took the army officer's brother, Adil Khan Jadoon, to the court in June  2011 alleging that he had paid him for purchase of Rs5.4 million worth of iron bars by cheques in December 2010 which were dishonoured by the bank.

Adil Jadoon's request for bail was rejected by the then additional district and sessions judge Rai Liaquat Ali Kharal.

Allegedly, the two brothers were running a business in partnership with their sister.

Police said that in order to save his brother from being arrested, Major Atif Jadoon, in the presence of the judge issued a cheque for Rs4 million to the steel merchant and a written assurance that he would pay the remaining amount also if his brother failed to do so within three months.

But the two cheques that Major Atif issued to settle the matter also bounced like the previous ones.

However, the Margalla police refused to entertain steel merchant Ahmed Ali's complaint against the army officer. They did so only on February 8, 2012 after the merchant went to court and the judge ordered the police to register a case against Major Atif.

As the law requires, the police approached the military police and army General Headquarters for arresting their officer.

Since the military authorities did not respond to the police's request for help, the investigating officer said Ahmed Ali went complaining to the Islamabad High Court against the accused and the police.

The high court ordered the army to produce its officer who in the meantime had secured interim bail from a lower court. But the curtain fell for him when his plea for confirming the bail came up for hearing before the Additional District and Sessions Judge Kamran Basharat. Major Atif preferred to escape rather than hear the judge's adverse decision.