Turning down of Moulvi Tameez-u-Din's petition against dissolution of Constituent/National Assembly, in 1954, by the federal court was a signpost judicial decision. This precedence got another shot in the arm when Supreme Court invoked the law of necessity to justify the military take-over of 1958. Subsequently, these two verdicts have been coming back in circles, to captivate our judiciary. Ever since, it has been a roller coaster voyage for our superior judiciary, its credibility has often been declining due to volte-faces in the form of interpretations and counter interpretations of constitutional cases. It has generally been upholding the actions of sitting rulers and condemning their actions after their exit. However, qualitative departure came on November 3, 2007, when Supreme Court struck down the declaration of emergency by a sitting president who was also the COAS. Likewise, the verdict of July 31 of this year has set the course for qualitative judicial reforms. For at least a generation or so, our superior judiciary is poised to live under the shadow of these two verdicts. The beauty of the latter decision is the self-imposed restraint whereby, the legislative actions (proclamation of ordinances) performed by the executive for the tenure of emergency have neither been struck down nor regularised, but have been referred back to the legislative organ (Parliament) for consideration and verdict. This event has set the boundaries for judicial activism. Also, a potential rampage has been wisely side stepped in the context of application of Article 6 of the constitution. What falls in the purview of other organs of the state has been left to their good judgement. This act of prudence shall go a long way to strengthen the three state organs, and hopefully, set a tradition of non-interference in each other's domain. Massive corrective and cleansing actions have already been initiated by the Supreme Court with regard to judiciary. On completion of these actions, the superior judiciary would, presumably, stand cleansed and, as a corollary, disciplined. CJP would soon have a team of like-minded members. So far so good Rejuvenated superior judiciary carries a huge baggage of expectations of a common Pakistani who played a significant role in the restoration of CJP and his current team. This common Pakistani now expects that affordable justice would prevail, it will not only be done, it could also be seen to have been done; and that justice would not be denied in the form of inordinate delays presently embedded in the, in vogue, investigative and judicial procedures/practices. Fame as well as the infamy that came to our superior judiciary was through its acts of commission and omission in the domains of constitutional matters and high profile politicised criminal cases that always overshadowed the domain of provision of justice to a common man. Due to its obligation to handle constitutional matters, each chief executive, civilian or otherwise tried to mould the superior courts, through coercion and re-composition, to take his bidding. In the process, the institution of judiciary got degenerated into politicised and non-professional gangs of judges, often criss-crossing each others' paths to carry out the wishes of their non-judicial string pullers. Hence, provision of justice to a common man could never come to prominence as the core raison d'tre of our superior judiciary. All decisions taken under duress were subsequently reviewed and reversed when the influence of duress receded. However this only met the academic interest; it neither had any bearing on the wrong doers, nor could the ill effects be mitigated. Such reviews always cast aspersions on the integrity of our superior judiciary, both on its individual actors, as well as, as an institution. While all this went on at the higher tiers, superior judiciary remained in a perpetual state of flux. Judges functioned under fears of removal and other means of arm-twisting by the executive. Under these circumstances, superior judiciary could not focus on its vital supervisory role over the lowers echelons of the judiciary that went rampant in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and, as a corollary, fairness. Time and again non-confidence was expressed in the lower tiers of judiciary in the form of setting up parallel judicial systems under various brand names, to achieve quick fixes. The judicial infrastructure continued to expand, however, administration of justice continued to shrink. Lower judiciary needs focused attention to improve their quality of decision making process. Realistic timeframes for finalisation of cases need to be worked out and imposed. Judicial allowance may be introduced for timely finalisation of case and subject to their being upheld by appellate forums. Overturning of decisions of lower courts by appellate courts should be taken as failure of the lower court judges; there should be a criteria to link this aspect of professional performance with career progression of judges. Moreover, all is definitely not well in the superior ties of judiciary. Massive reform is required in the areas of selection procedure for judges. There is a need to look at other models, say American one, to introduce transparency and scrutiny through public hearing and other instruments during the selection process of judges of superior courts. Also, there is a need to revitalise continuous evaluation system, to ensure an ongoing corrective mechanism in the context of aberrations of code of conduct and professional inaptness, by the serving judges. There is a need to undertake a comprehensive and thorough professional groundwork for revamping of procedures and practices to put the judicial house in order at all tiers. Unprecedented acquisition of power and the moral ascendancy by the superior judiciary, through recent verdict, also places on it an onus of proportionately heavy responsibility to remould our judiciary in a way that a common Pakistani can think of accruing affordable justice within a decent timeframe; justice which should draw its strength from the eternal principles of equity and fair play. During these defining moments, our superior judiciary has the will as well as the potential to fulfil this modest wish of a common Pakistani, who waits, holding his breath yet once again The writer is a retired air officer of the PAF E-mail: khalid3408@gmail.com