Topic Of The Day:-“Spotlight on the judiciary”

The conduct of Pakistan’s judiciary in the matter has been far from judicious. The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar, views himself less as an adjudicator in accordance with the law and more as a super policy maker. He has expressed interest in everything — from water scarcity to running of mental hospitals and prisons. He has taken to touring various government facilities and has even created a fund for the construction of dams. The fund will receive public contributions because the Chief Justice knows the exchequer does not have enough money to build the dams he wants built.

None of these actions is part of a Chief Justice’s job description, even after recognising that some judges are more activist than others. Justice Nisar has made his political biases well known and the case against Mr. Sharif proceeded in reverse order. Instead of beginning in a trial court where evidence of his wrongdoing was established beyond reasonable doubt, he was first disqualified by the Supreme Court and then put on trial.

But perceptions and common knowledge of political corruption cannot be a substitute for following legal principles. Elsewhere in the civilised world, the Pakistani practice of accusing someone of criminal conduct first in the highest court and then demanding that they prove their innocence would be deemed grossly unjust. The fact that this happens only in political cases further strengthens the view that politics, not corruption, is at the heart of such ‘prosecutions’.

Moreover, the Supreme Court invited representatives of the Military Intelligence and the ISI to help investigate the money trail for Mr. Sharif’s alleged properties in London. This highly unusual procedure itself casts doubt on the real motives behind the former Prime Minister’s trial. The military-led prosecutions of politicians, even when their malfeasance is well known, helps the politicians in building their case that their political conduct is the source of their troubles.

Pakistan is, therefore, unable to hold the politically powerful accountable through its politicised judiciary. The cynical view of Pakistani politics would be that three decades ago the deep state advanced Mr. Sharif’s political career while portraying Benazir Bhutto’s spouse, Asif Zardari, as corrupt; now Imran Khan is the ‘chosen one’ while Mr. Sharif’s alleged corruption is being targeted.


1) Judicious

Meaning: Having, showing, or done with good judgement or sense.

Example: “The judicious use of public investment”

Synonyms: Wise, Canny  

Antonyms: Injudicious, Foolish

2) Adjudicator

Meaning: A person who adjudicates.

Example: “The proposal to close the school will have to go before an adjudicator”

Synonyms: Arbitrator, Arbiter  

3) Scarcity

Meaning: The state of being scarce or in short supply; shortage.

Example: “A time of scarcity”

Synonyms: Shortage, Dearth  

Antonyms: Abundance, Excess

4) Exchequer

Meaning: A royal or national treasury.

Example: “An important source of revenue to the sultan’s exchequer”

5) Wrongdoing

Meaning: Illegal or dishonest behaviour.

Example: “Police have denied any wrongdoing”

Synonyms: Crime, Misconduct  

6) Perceptions

Meaning: Intuitive understanding and insight.

Example: “‘He wouldn’t have accepted,’ said my mother with unusual perception”

Synonyms: Insight, Percipience  

7) Unjust

Meaning: Not based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

Example: “Resistance to unjust laws”

Synonyms: Biased, Unfair  

Antonyms: Just, Fair

8) Prosecutions

Meaning: The institution and conducting of legal proceedings against someone in respect of a criminal charge.

Example: “The organizers are facing prosecution for noise nuisance”

9) Malfeasance

Meaning: An example of dishonest and illegal behaviour, especially by a person in authority.

Example: “Several cases of malpractice and malfeasance in the financial world are currently being investigated”

10) Cynical

Meaning: Doubtful as to whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile.

Example: “Most residents are cynical about efforts to clean mobsters out of their city”

Synonyms: Sceptical, Doubtful

Antonyms: Optimistic, Credulous

11) Myriad

Meaning: Countless or extremely great in number.

Example: “He gazed at the myriad lights of the city”

Synonyms: Innumerable, Countless

12) Dysfunction

Meaning: Disruption of normal social relations.

Example: “Inner-city dysfunction”

13) Resonance

Meaning: The quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating.

Example: “The resonance of his voice”

14) Kickbacks

Meaning: An amount of money that is secretly and illegally paid to someone in exchange for their help.

Example: “He is accused of paying kickbacks to a district official to win contracts with the school system”

15) Manifestos

Meaning: A public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.

Example: “He may fudge key issues in the Labour manifesto”

Synonyms: Platform, Declaration