ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court cannot endorse the unconstitutional rights of any institution, therefore, any action of the armed forces taken without a direction by the federal government would be unconstitutional, illegal, void ab initio and consequently of no legal effect. Speaking to the faculty members of the National Defence University who called on him at the Supreme Court building on Saturday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that the Supreme Court has been assigned the responsibility to interpret the Constitution. In exercise of its jurisdiction, the apex court in successive judgements has underlined the need for strictly observing the Constitution and the law. In the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) vs Federation of Pakistan case while interpreting certain constitutional provisions, the court elaborated the functions of armed forces as prescribed in the Constitution. The CJP stated that the SHCBA judgement invited attention to the requirement of Article 6 and its wide and varied application to all and sundry who abrogate or attempt to abrogate or subvert the Constitution. In the same judgement, a new provision to the Code of Conduct prescribed for superior courts judges added that prohibits them from taking fresh oath on any instrument not in consonance with the Constitution. It further laid down that the assumption of power by an authority not mentioned in the Constitution would be unconstitutional, illegal and void ab initio and not liable to be recognised by any court, including Supreme Court, he said. The Chief Justice said that according to Article 244 of the Constitution oath provided in its Third Schedule binds every member of the armed forces to bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the Constitution, which embodies the will of the people. Moreover, he is bound by the oath not to engage himself in any political activities whatsoever and serve the country honestly and faithfully, as required by and under the law. He said this was a conscious effort by the framers of the Constitution to restrict the role of armed forces to defend the borders of the country and to safeguard the Constitution from any adventurism. For the development of the country, the Chief Justice said it is beyond the capacity and power of an individual or an institution to chart the destiny of a nation. It is rather the synergy of all national institutions which in a combined move that can steer the ship of State to the Promised Land. I am sure that until all the institutions work in tandem and harmony we can realize such dreams of national salvation and development. Emphasising the role of State, he said the Constitution of Pakistan provides that it is the responsibility of the State to ensure the inexpensive and expeditious justice to its citizens. To provide and ensure justice, the Constitution has established the Supreme Court, the High Courts, the Federal Shariat Court, tribunals and other courts, established under the law. There is a separate part of the Constitution dealing with the composition and jurisdiction of judicature of the country. However, under the scheme of Constitution, judiciary has not been defined as a part of the State. The Constitution provides the system of checks and balances between the organs of the State. The judiciary has been given the power of judicial review of executive and legislative actions. The Constitution has guaranteed the protection of fundamental rights including right to life, safeguard as to arrest and detention, protection of property, right to information, right to education and guarantee of freedom of movement, association, speech, trade, business or profession, etc. The said object of the Constitution can only be achieved through an independent judiciary. The Constitution guarantees that the independence of judiciary shall be fully secured and for this purpose it must be separated from the executive. He said the Constitution has conferred on Supreme Court original, appellate, review and advisory jurisdictions. It exercises original jurisdiction, with respect to the enforcement of fundamental rights. Under its original jurisdiction, the Supreme Court is exclusively empowered to resolve disputes between the governments - federal and provincial. Under appellate jurisdiction, the court entertains appeals against orders and decisions of High Courts and other special tribunals and courts. While in review jurisdiction, the Supreme Court is empowered to review its previous decisions. The court also exercises advisory jurisdiction where the President of the country may obtain opinion on a question of law. The Chief Justice said that Article 184 (3) of the Constitution empowers the Supreme Court to protect the fundamental rights. Concept of taking action on instances of human rights violation is not new as previously this court has taken notices of violation of the human rights. Till now many suo moto actions have been taken. Online adds: Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has said the Constitution has determined the role of the military and any unconstitutional act by the armed forces shall be deemed as seditious. The Chief Justice said any unconstitutional step of the military comes into the ambit of sedition and Article 6 would be used over violations of Constitution and the law. He said the Supreme Court has tried its best to protect basic rights of the people and curtail the misuse of power.