LAHORE - Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa on Monday came up with the idea of bifurcation of the existing Supreme Court by setting up a federal constitutional court to deal with the constitutional matters.

“It would be in common man’s interest if the Supreme Court concentrates only on cases relating to the general public while constitutional issues are left to the constitutional court to decide,” the governor said while addressing a news conference at the Governor’s House along with PPP’s south Punjab President Makhdoom Shahabuddin.

Khosa also sought cooperation of the PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif to amend the constitution to make provision for establishment of two apex courts at the Centre. The governor recalled that the PPP and the PML-N had agreed in the Charter of Democracy to set up two separate courts at the federal level. He said PPP wanted to split the Supreme Court through another amendment in the constitution to be passed with consensus like the three earlier amendments.

Khosa told journalists that the system of two federal courts was working well in Australia, South Africa and some other countries and could be practised in Pakistan without any complication. He said it was the utmost responsibility of the courts to dispense timely justice to the people, but the same was not being done at the moment.

According to him, common man was not getting prompt justice due to a large number of cases pending in both the lower and higher judiciary since long.

When asked to comment on the writ petitions filed by the PML-N and the PTI in the Supreme Court challenging Speaker’s ruling on PM Gilani’s disqualification, the governor, who is also a legal wizard, replied that Speaker’s ruling cannot be challenged in any court under Article 69 of the constitution. He expressed the hope that apex court would uphold supremacy of the Parliament by deciding these petitions on merit according to the constitution.

The governor further stated that the controversy over disqualification of PM Gilani must come to an end now after the Speaker’s ruling. While terming the recent lawyers’ convention against the prime minister a fraud, Khosa said PPP would convene a convention of representative bodies of lawyers in support of the premier very soon. 

Earlier, Makhdoom Shahabuddin told reporters that federal government was also busy purchasing wheat from growers as it had set a target of procuring 2 million tones of wheat this year out of which 1.2 million had already been purchased from the farmers. He said Punjab government had set a target of purchasing 4 million tones of wheat while it had procured only 1.4 million tones so far. Makhdoom also alleged that Takht-e-Lahore was depriving south Punjab of its due share of water. “Only 30 per cent canals in south Punjab are flowing at the moment unlike central and north Punjab where 70 per cent canals are in flow,” he added.