Dalveer Bhandari re-elected to ICJ: Meet Padma Bhushan awardee and former Supreme Court judge

For the first time in its 71-year-old history, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will not have a judge from the UK on its bench.

Instead, Justice Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the ICJ on Monday as the General Assembly rallied behind him in a show of strength that made Britain bow to the majority and withdraw its candidate Christopher Greenwood.

The withdrawal of its candidate by Britain, which had the backing of its fellow permanent members, was a setback for the Security Council that had been locked in a test of wills with the Assembly.

 Dalveer Bhandari re-elected to ICJ: Meet Padma Bhushan awardee and former Supreme Court judge

File image of Dalveer Bhandari. Courtesy: CNN-News18

Bhandari has been an ICJ member 27 April, 2012, according to his profile on the ICJ website. He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2014.

At the ICJ, Bhandari has delivered "several separate opinions on various important areas" covering maritime disputes, whaling in Antarctica, genocide crimes, delimitation of continental shelves, nuclear disarmament, terror financing, violation of sovereign rights, etc.

When the ICJ stayed the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism, Bhandari had noted that Pakistan violated Jadhav's basic human rights by not allowing India consular access to him.

"The case gives rise to questions pertaining to the basic violation of human rights through the denial of consular access during the pendency of court proceedings in Pakistan, which culminated with Jadhav's death sentence," PTI quoted him as saying.

Before joining ICJ, Bhandari was a judge of the Supreme Court of India since 28 October, 2005. He delivered judgments on comparative law, public interest litigation, constitutional law, criminal law, civil procedure code, administrative law, arbitration laws, insurance and banking and family laws.

His profile on the ICJ website also said some of his judgments made the Indian government seriously consider his suggestion for amendment of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the release of a higher amount of foodgrains for those living below the poverty line, and the availability of basic infrastructure for various schools in India.

From July 2004 to the time he was appointed as a Supreme Court judge, Bhandari was the chief justice of the Bombay High Court as well. During his tenure, the court achieved the "rare distinction of functioning on a full strength of 60 judges for the first time". It was also on his recommendation that the sanctioned strength of the court was increased to 75.

Before serving as chief justice of the Bombay High Court, Bhandari was a judge of the Delhi High Court since March 1991.

Bhandari practised also law in the Rajasthan High Court from 1968 to 1970. After pursuing a Master of Laws degree in the US, Bhandari returned to India in 1973 to continue his practice in the Rajasthan High Court.

Since 1977, he practised law in the Supreme Court on civil, criminal, constitutional, corporate, election and central excise branches of law until his elevation as a judge in the Delhi High Court.

Born on 1 October, 1946, in Jodhpur, Bhandari studied humanities and law from Jodhpur University. According to The Indian Express, he comes from a family of lawyers. His father Mahaveer Chand Bhandari and grandfather BC Bhandari were members of the Rajasthan bar.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2017 11:02:39 IST