Social media posts claiming Justice Dalveer Bhandari was elected as Chief Justice of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) revive from time to time.
In its latest reiteration, users are loading PM Narendra Modi’s strong relationships with various world leaders which resulted in the election of Justice Bhandari as Chief Justice in ICJ.
However, the viral claim is false and misrepresents the actual fact. Justice Dalveer Bhandari has been a member of 15 judge’s panels in ICJ since 2012.
WHAT’S THE CLAIM?
The claim in the post reads: “because of Chanakya diplomacy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his relationships with different countries resulted in the election of Justice Dalveer Bhandari as Chief justice of International Court of Justice. For this PM Modi and Foreign ministry have been working for last 6 months.”
This post became viral after BJP leader Nagendra Nath tweeted that an Indian judge Dalveer Bhandari was elected as Chief justice in ICJ after defeating Britain. He also praised PM Modi for his relationship with other countries which made this possible.
First, we search the details of Justice Dalveer Bhandari on the Ministry of External Affairs website. In a press release on 21 November 2017 Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the election of Judge Dalveer Bhandari to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council on 20 November 2017 for the 2018-2027 term. Dalveer Bhandari received all 15 votes in the UN Security Council and 183 out of 193 votes in the UN General Assembly.
We looked for the list of Judges and their designation on the International Court of Justice website. We found that there were 15 judges but no one was appointed as Chief Justice. We also found that ICJ has a President, Vice-President, and members of the court. Judge Dalveer Bhandari was elected as a member of the court in 2012 for the first time and then re-elected in 2018. This proves that he was also a member of ICJ during the UPA government.
Further, we found that The International Court of Justice is composed of 15 judges who are elected to a nine-year term of office by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Councils.
To be elected as a judge, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies. Elections are held in New York during the annual autumn session of the General Assembly.
The judges elected at a triennial election commence their term of office on 6 February of the following year, after which the Court holds a secret ballot to elect a President and a Vice-President to hold office for three years.
Is it the first time that a judge from India elected to ICJ?
No. Judge Nagendra Singh was elected as President of ICJ from 1985 to 1988 term and served as Vice President from 1976 to 1979. Sir Benegal Rau and Raghunandan Swarup Pathak were elected as judges for term 1952 to 1953 and 1989 to 1991 respectively. Judge Dalveer Bhandari is serving as a Judge in ICJ since 2012.
Judge Dalveer Bhandari is a member of the court since 2012. He was not elected as Chief Justice of the International Court of Justice. According to the ICJ website, there is no designation of Chief Justice in ICJ. We also found that Judge Dalveer Bhandari was serving in ICJ even before the BJP government came into power in 2014.
Title:Dalveer Bhandari Is Not The Chief Justice of International Court of JusticeFact Check By: Siddharth Sahu