THOSE who feel perturbed over what they perceive as misplaced judicial activism, when the courts pull up another pillar of the state for an unlawful act, had better have a deeper look at the Constitution to know the extent of authority it invests in the courts. The intention of the framers of the Constitution for the judiciary to serve as its watchdog would unmistakably become clear to them. The judiciary is well within its right, in fact duty bound, to take action whenever a transgression of its provisions comes to light. Thus, the pronouncement against the fake-degree-holding legislators, banning them from contesting any further elections. One would assume that even the politicians, who have been vocal about the need for all institutions - an oblique reference to the judiciary in particular - to remain within their domains, would agree with Justice Javed Iqbal that persons who have duped the electorate with fake degrees would not qualify for contesting polls or holding a public office. There is little question about the need for potential leadership to be honest and fair. There are said to be other cases of sitting legislators, whose degrees are fake, yet for the present the verdict affects two aspirants: Nazir Jatt and Allah Wasaya. The Supreme Court is hearing a case against Jamshed Dasti and others. Some of them resigned when doubts arose about the genuineness of their degrees. That Jamshed Dasti is supposed to be a close friend of Mr Zardari, who in his capacity as the PPP co-chairman issued him a ticket to fight a bye-election, is a sad reflection on the thinking of our top political figures, and a reaffirmation of their desire to persist in corrupt ways. It is precisely for this reason that the country needs an independent judiciary and that is not possible with the legislature or the executive having a say in the appointment of judges. The Supreme Courts verdict upholding the judgement of the Balochistan High Court in the case of eight lower court judges whom the BHC had appointed, but the government did not regularise their appointment, becomes important in this context. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhrys remark in disposing of the case that appointment of these judges by the administration was against the judiciarys freedom guaranteed by the Constitution is tellingly apt. Justice Ghulam Rabbani is also right when he says that unless the system is run in accordance with constitutional provisions and rules and regulations are followed, good people cannot be appointed. The wisdom of these observations is unquestionable; if not acted upon, the country risks giving impetus to corruption and malpractices.