Pakistani, Indian Muslim judges become 'too lenient' in Ramadan

08:08 PM | 15 Mar, 2023
Pakistani, Indian Muslim judges become 'too lenient' in Ramadan

It is quite a job to be a judge and give a verdict without involving one's personal feelings or conscience. However, it is more of a complication with the “hungry judge effect” hanging over one's head.

While many studies suggest that judges who haven't had breakfast or lunch tend to be harsh with their decisions, Muslim judges — in Pakistan and India — have a different approach.

In the month of Ramadan when Muslims all over the world observe fasting, it is quite a concern for the courtroom to be slightly worried about the verdict but luckily this isn't the case. 

According to the “the hungry judge rule” effect, a 2011 study shows that Israeli judges deny more criminals parole before lunch as compared to after lunch. The lead author of a new study at Russia’s new economic school, Sultan Mehmood, said that such a scenario has the potential to occur during Ramadan. Mehmood is an economics professor in Moscow with a Ph.D.

According to a recent study, Muslim judges are more likely to give lenient decisions while fasting in Ramadan contrary to the previous research. To reach this conclusion, economic researchers sifted through a huge amount of criminal sentencing data, including roughly half a million cases and 10,000 judges, covering a 50-year period in India and Pakistan.

The study finds that there is a “sharp and statistically significant” rise from Muslim judges during the holy month with an average of around 40% more acquittals. The study also found that the judges were "10% more likely to acquit with each additional hour of fasting". And surprisingly, "defendants on the receiving end of the lenient decisions were no more likely to commit another crime."

“The probability that the initial verdict was overturned was also lower,” stated Avner Seror, a study co-author and economist at France’s Aix-Marseille University.

Seror said that Ramadan was "well-suited to statistical analysis" because it offers numerous avenues for comparison, from being held on different dates every year to the duration of fasting differing depending on when the sun rises and sets. He suggested that the change in the judges' decision-making could be linked to "the idea of clemency inherent in the Muslim ritual, a little like the spirit of Christmas among Christians".

"But it goes further because it seems to help the judges make the right decision," he added.

As a part of the research, Mehmood suggested that Pakistani judges agreed that they “are too lenient” in Ramadan.

 Considering previous research suggesting that fasting improves the mood, cognition and memory, this remarkable example of judges curbing not just culinary appetite but emotional and moral appetite is the blessings of Ramadan.

The writer is a staff member.


Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pak Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, Riyal - 25 June 2024

Pakistani rupee rates against US Dollar and other currencies on June 25, 2024 (Tuesday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro's buying rate stands at 293.5 and selling rate is 297.2 while British Pound rate is 348.5 for buying, and 351.45 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.05 and Saudi Riyal at 72.95.

Currency Rates in Pakistan

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.65
Euro EUR 293.5 297.2
UK Pound Sterling GBP 348.5 351.45
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.05 75.85
Saudi Riyal SAR 72.95 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 182.2 184
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.58 748.58
Canadian Dollar CAD 203 205
China Yuan CNY 38.35 38.75
Danish Krone DKK 39.91 40.31
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.67 36.02
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.9 1.98
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 907.74 916.74
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.07 59.67
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.38 172.38
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.38 26.68
Omani Riyal OMR 723.26 731.26
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.5 77.2
Singapore Dollar SGD 72.95 73.85
Swedish Korona SEK 26.5 26.8
Swiss Franc CHF 311.53 314.03
Thai Bhat THB 7.58 7.73


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