A research carried out by this newspaper turns the spotlight on the scourge of corruption prevailing in the lower courts and how it is creating roadblocks to dispensing justice. The alarming aspect is that the litigants who were interviewed appeared utterly exasperated and expressed tales full of woes about the way they were exploited by the judicial staff. The research found that the lower judiciary across the country is afflicted with corrupt practices, ranging from preferential hearing of cases, exploitation in bail matters, fixing the date of the next hearing, to as small an issue as getting a copy of the judgement. Sadly, the culprits are judicial officials, readers, and even touts as discovered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The research conducted in Balochistan for instance revealed that the most common practice for the judicial staff is to take bribe from the litigants to fix the date of hearing of their choice. The fallout of this culture of corruption is that those who have enough money to bribe ultimately even succeed in getting court verdicts in their favour. The reports also discovered that this sorry state of affairs exists because of the absence of a system of checks and balances, low salaries, and other problems that include shortage of judges and district courts. In a situation where backlog of cases keeps on increasing, it is no wonder that a case on an average could drag on for a period of twenty years. Sadly, even then there is no guarantee that the judgement will be impartial. The performance of the superior judiciary is very much impressive as all can witness. However, it is clear that it is now the subordinate judiciary that needs to be cleansed of the menace of corruption. The general public and the hapless litigants who knock at the doors of the subordinate courts ought to be provided with inexpensive and speedy justice. That will make the dream of achieving independent judiciary truly possible.