The Supreme Court Thursday dismissed a challenge to the candidature of one of its judges for appointment to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), saying it could not interfere in the matter.
“It is purely a matter with the ICJ and has nothing to do with this court,” a bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir said while allowing the withdrawal of a petition against the candidature of Justice Dalveer Bhandari for the Hague court.
“It is also important that the last judge (from India) was Justice Pathak, way back in the 1980s,” the court added. Justice R.S. Pathak is a former chief justice of India.
Justice Bhandari’s candidature would in no way affect the Supreme Court’s independence, the bench observed. This was after petitioner Prashant Bhushan contended that by canvassing for Justice Bhandari, the government was compromising the independence of the apex court.
Bhushan said it would have been a different matter had Justice Bhandari resigned before Friday’s election for a seat from Asia on the ICJ.