JUSTICE (R) K.M.A SAMDANI The readers may be interested in my experience as a teacher, bureaucrat, and judge, and draw their own lessons therefrom. This article is the first of the series. Others will follow, lnshallah. The first experience, with my brief comments, which I would like to share with everyone is as follows: Hardly a couple of months after I assumed duty as a demonstrator in Physics in Islamia, Peshawar, elections were held in the Province. In order to display his fairness in the elections, the chief minister of the province, namely Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, appointed all the faculty members of the Islamia College (including the demonstrators) as presiding officers of the various polling stations. My polling station was somewhere in the interior of the province. In fact, the village primary school had been turned into a polling station. In one room of the school, two ballot boxes were placed - one for the government party and the other for the opposition - on two tables and a partition curtain made of wood was placed to maintain the 'secrecy' of ballot. I had my bed in another room. The polling started smoothly on the appointed date and time but an hour later I received complaints to the effect that the partition was high enough from the floor to let the people in the courtyard notice whether the voter was going towards the government box or the opposition box. The voter that voted for the opposition was given a good thrashing when he came out of the polling station by the ghundas engaged by the government for the purpose. This was a serious matter, On the complaint of the opposition representatives, I put my own bed sheet on the partition curtain in such a way that it flowed down right to the floor, thus restoring the secrecy of ballot. But this change in the design was promptly reported to the assistant commissioner of the area who arrived an hour later to check. He wanted me to remove the bed sheet. But I told him that as long as I was the presiding officer, the bed sheet would remain on the curtain. Thereupon he quietly left without creating a scene. Perhaps he did not want to attract adverse publicity. From then onwards, the polling proceeded smoothly and fairly. It is a matter of great regret that we indulged in rigging right from the 1950s. There are people who say that with the passage of time things will improve. Now more than fifty years have elapsed since, but things appear to have worsened instead. God help us. The writer is a retired judge of the Lahore High Court