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Judge Dalveer Bhandari

(Member of the Court since 27 April 2012)

Profile

Dr. Justice Bhandari was a judge in the higher Indian judiciary for more than 20 years. He served as a senior judge in the Supreme Court of India. He has been an Executive Member of the International Law Association, India Chapter, since 1994. He was unanimously elected as President of the India International Law Foundation in 2007 and continues in that position. He served as a judge in the High Court of Delhi (a premier High Court in India) and then was the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, one of the largest and oldest High Courts in India. Dr. Bhandari had a distinguished and successful career as an attorney at law for 23 years before he became a judge in the Indian higher judiciary in 1991.

Judge, Supreme Court of India

Judicial role

Dr. Justice Bhandari served as a senior judge in the Supreme Court of India. He was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on 28 October 2005. He delivered a large number of judgments while exercising the Supreme Court's jurisdiction under Article 131 between the Government of India and one or more States; between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or between two or more States.

He also delivered a large number of judgments on comparative law, public interest litigation, constitutional law, criminal law, civil procedure code, administrative law, arbitration laws, insurance and banking and family laws.

Keeping in view his landmark judgment in a divorce case, the Union of India is seriously considering his suggestion for amendment of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, incorporating irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce.

Justice Bhandari's various orders in the food grains matter led to the release of a higher quantum of supply of food grains to the population living below the poverty line.

Justice Bhandari's number of orders in the night shelter matter led to state governments making provision for night shelters for homeless people all over the country.

Justice Bhandari's orders in the matter of the right to free and compulsory education for children led to the availability of basic infrastructural amenities in primary and secondary schools all over the country.

Justice Bhandari also acquired wide experience in dealing with administrative matters.

Administrative role

Justice Bhandari was nominated as the Chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee by a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

He was nominated as the Chairman of the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee and supervised mediation and conciliation programmes all over the country.

He was the Chairman of the Selection Committee for appointing the Judicial and Administrative Members for the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

He was the Chairman of the Selection Committee for appointing the Chairman and Members of the Railway Claims Tribunal.

He was the Chairman of the Committee to consider cases of accreditation of legal correspondents in the Supreme Court of India.

He was the Chairman of the Committee for the selection of law clerk cum research assistants to be provided to the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court of India.

He was the Chairperson of the Committee for selecting the teaching faculty for the National Judicial Academy set up by the Supreme Court of India at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

He was nominated as a member of Third High level Indo Australian Legal Forum Meeting held on 9 and 10 November 2011 at New Delhi, which consisted of chief justices, judges and attorneys general from India and Australia.

Chief Justice of Bombay High Court (Maharashtra and Goa)

Justice Bhandari was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court on 25 July 2004 (having the states of Maharashtra and Goa under its jurisdiction). Bombay High Court is one of the oldest and largest High Courts in India (equivalent to the State Supreme Court in the United States of America).

As the Chief Justice he delivered a number of judgments in various branches of the law. His judgments and orders have led to a much larger allocation of funds for malnutrition in the five most backward districts of Maharashtra.

By his judgment 100, judicial officers were appointed to deal with the cases pertaining to Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

Administrative role

During the tenure of Justice Bhandari as the Chief Justice, the Bombay High Court achieved the distinction of functioning on a full strength of 60 judges for the first time and on the recommendation of Justice Bhandari, the sanctioned strength of the Bombay High Court was increased from 60 to 75 judges. During his tenure a large number of new court buildings were set up in the states of Maharashtra and Goa. Other court buildings were renovated and modernized. On his persuasion, the state government agreed to set up the National Judicial Academy in the state of Maharashtra.

Justice Bhandari took special interest in mediation and conciliation. He was instrumental in setting up mediation and conciliation centres all over the states of Maharashtra and Goa. He also organized an International Conference on Mediation and Conciliation in Mumbai. He ensured better infrastructural facilities, particularly for the subordinate judiciary in the states of Maharashtra and Goa. He also took keen interest in computerization, videoconferencing facilities, legal aid and legal literacy programmes. He was instrumental in setting up the Information Centre for Litigants in the Bombay High Court.

Judge, High Court of Delhi

Justice Bhandari was elevated as a judge of the High Court of Delhi on 19 March 1991. He served as a judge of the High Court of Delhi for more than 13 years before he was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.

Judicial role

As a judge in the High Court of Delhi, Justice Bhandari delivered several landmark judgments in almost all branches of the law. His directions in public interest litigation led to the closure of a 100 year old slaughterhouse and construction of a new, modernized and mechanized facility.

His judgment on "John Doe" orders (intellectual property rights), namely Taj Television Ltd. v. Rajan Mandal, was published in a leading English Journal, Fleet Street Reports (2003) F.S.R. 407.

Administrative role

Justice Bhandari was Chairperson of the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee for several years. He was also Chairperson of the Advisory Board of Delhi State on the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA) and the National Security Act (NSA) for a number of years.

Professional career

Justice Bhandari practised in the Rajasthan High Court from 1968 to 1970 and then went to the United States of America on an international scholarship to pursue a Master of Laws degree. He returned to India in 1973 and thereafter until February 1977 practised in the Rajasthan High Court on all branches of law. Dr. Bhandari practised law primarily in the Supreme Court of India on civil, criminal, constitutional, corporate, election and central excise branches of law since 1977, until his elevation as a judge in the High Court of Delhi.

Dr. Bhandari has argued many landmark cases before the Constitution Bench and other Benches of the Supreme Court of India. He was the arguing counsel on the senior panel of the Union of India. He was also the standing counsel for the state of Uttar Pradesh and for many other public undertakings for more than a decade before the Supreme Court of India. He represented many other states in the Supreme Court of India. He also appeared in many leading high courts, such as the High Court of Delhi, the Bombay High Court, the Calcutta High Court, the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the Allahabad High Court, the Rajasthan High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Educational and academic achievements

Dr. Bhandari graduated in humanities and law from Jodhpur University. He was then invited, in June 1970, to a six week workshop organized by the University of Chicago on research on Indian law at Chicago, United States. During that period he closely and intensively worked and interacted with leading academicians and scholars of the United States.

After being awarded an international scholarship, Dr. Bhandari, obtained a Masters of Law from Northwestern University, Chicago, United States. He worked at the Northwestern Legal Assistance Clinic and appeared in Chicago Courts on behalf of litigants of that Clinic. He also worked with the Centre for Research in Chicago.

In June 1973, as recipient of an international fellowship, Dr. Bhandari visited Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Sri Lanka on an observational cum lecture tour on legal aid and clinical legal educational programmes associated with the law courts and law schools.

Dr. Bhandari worked on an international project, "Delay in the administration of criminal justice in India", sponsored by the United Nations.

Dr. Bhandari was a member of a high level delegation that visited many places in the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to study and understand the soviet legal and judicial system and its relevance for India.

Exceptional achievement

At the celebrations for its 150 year anniversary (1859 2009), the Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, United States, selected Justice Bhandari as one of its 16 most illustrious and distinguished alumni.

Conferment of degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D)

Tumkur University, Karnataka, India, conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) on Justice Bhandari for his magnanimous contribution to law and justice. The citation reads as follows: "Man of mettle and integrity. An illustrious legal luminary of international repute. A pioneer in the implementation of novel innovative practices in the legal system of India. A staunch crusader for gender justice, equality rights and intellectual property rights. The laurels and awards conferred on him in recognition of his yeoman service stand on the proud pedestal of his magnanimous contribution to law and justice are laudable."

Law training and close interaction with law schools and universities

Dr. Bhandari as a Supreme Court judge trained a large number of students from American and Canadian Universities particularly from Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, University of Wisconsin Law School and Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada.

In 2007 he became a member of the Governing Council of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

He has been a member of the Governing Council of the National Law University, Jodhpur, since 2006.

International law

Dr. Bhandari has been an executive member of the International Law Association, India Chapter, since 1994. He was also the Chairperson of the Delhi Centre of the International Law Association for several years. He was instrumental in setting up the International Law Association Rajasthan Chapter at Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He is an acknowledged expert in private and public international law. He also participated in and addressed a large number of seminars, symposiums and conferences on international law.

Dr. Bhandari was unanimously elected as the President of the India International Law Foundation in 2007. He continues in that position.

Countries visited

Dr. Bhandari has visited the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Holland, former Czechoslovakia, Austria, Thailand, Italy, Germany, France, the Benelux countries, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Israel, Ireland, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.

Addresses to several international conferences and seminars

Dr. Bhandari is equally at home in the academic world. He has addressed several national and international conferences, including some of the following:

He was invited to deliver the keynote address at the international conference organized by the United Nations on intellectual property at Auckland, New Zealand, in 2001.

He was invited to address the international conference on "Judicial education on equality issues in South Asia: what we have accomplished together" organized by the Asia Pacific advisory forum at Kathmandu on 13 March 2006.

He was invited to deliver the keynote address on 13 January 2008 on "Gender justice and sensitization of the judiciary: an overview" organized by the Asia Pacific advisory forum on judicial education on equality issues at Karachi, Pakistan.

He was invited to deliver the keynote address on "Transnational enforcement of intellectual property rights" at the fifth International Judges Conference on Intellectual Property Law at Washington, D.C., from 21 to 23 April 2009.

He was invited to deliver a special address to the faculty members and the students of Northwestern University on "Supreme Court of India and public interest litigation" at a special function organized in his honour by the Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, on 23 April 2009.

He was invited to participate in the deliberations and an intense discussion at the sixth International Judges’ Conference on Intellectual Property Law at Brussels from 23 to 25 May 2011.

Addresses to important universities, and different forums and conferences

Dr. Bhandari has also addressed many leading universities and other important forums. He has shared his perspective on various elements related to the law, including alternate dispute resolution, intellectual property rights, international law, judicial and legal education and public interest litigation.

He was the chief guest and delivered the presidential address at the Stamp Releasing Ceremony in honour of former distinguished Chief Justice M. C. Chagla of Bombay High Court on 1 October 2004 at Mumbai.

He was the chief guest at the function organized on the eve of United Nations Day on 21 October 2004 at Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, Mumbai. He delivered the keynote address on that occasion.

He delivered the valedictory address on the occasion of national rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot, 2009, organized by the University Institute of Legal Studies, Punjab University and Surana and Surana International Law Firm, at Chandigarh on 18 January 2009.

He delivered the inaugural address on the occasion of the eighth Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition organized by the Indian Society of International Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross on 11 September 2008 at New Delhi.

He delivered a special address on the occasion of the release of the book entitled "Cyber Laws and Information Technology" at New Delhi on 7 October 2009.

He delivered the inaugural speech on the occasion of the ninth Henry Dunant Memorial Moot Court Competition organized by the Indian Society of International Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross at New Delhi on 10 September 2009.

He delivered the keynote address at the function on "Paper for national consultation for second general reforms in legal education" organized by the Ministry of Law in association with National Law University, Delhi, and the Bar Council of India at New Delhi on 1 and 2 May 2010.

He delivered the inaugural address at the national tax conference on "Global economic scenario: role of tax professionals" organized by the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners at Varanasi on 7 March 2009.

He delivered the keynote address at the colloquium on "Justice delivery of human trafficking crimes for judicial officers, prosecutors and police officers" organized by the National Legal Services Authority and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on 15 November 2008 at New Delhi.

He delivered the keynote speech at the International Conclave of Intellectual Property for Judiciary and IP Practitioners on 20 January 2007 at Goa.

He inaugurated the national seminar on "Right to education" of distinguished academicians and educationists from all over India at New Delhi on 21 February 2009.

He delivered two lectures at the International Conference organized by the Bombay High Court on "Alternative dispute resolution" in 2004, in which a large number of judges, academicians and scholars from different parts of the world participated.

He delivered the valedictory address of the First Nani Palkhivala Memorial National Tax Moot Court Competition on 18 December 2004.

He addressed a conference organized by the Ministry of Law and Justice on "Is this the time to review arbitration law in India" at Hotel Taj Mahal, Mumbai, on 21 October 2004.

He delivered the presidential speech at the conference on "Equal justice and legal aid" at YB Chavan Auditorium, Mumbai, on 3 April 2005.

He delivered a special address on "Alternate dispute resolution system" at the District Bar Association, Pune, on 21 April 2005.

He addressed the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa and Bharati Vidyapeeth University at Pune on "Professional ethics" on 18 June 2005.

He delivered Shri C. L. Agarwal Centenary Memorial Lecture at Jaipur on 29 January 2006.

He delivered the inaugural address at the State Lawyers Conference organized by the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa at Pune on 9 December 2006.

He has addressed many Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs and other philanthropic organizations.

He delivered a special address on "Clinical legal education" at a function organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association on 9 March 2007 at New Delhi.

He delivered the keynote address on the occasion of an All India Seminar on "Access to justice" organized by the Confederation of the Indian Bar at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

He delivered a special address on 15 August 2007 at the Institute of Judicial Training and Research, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on "Challenges before the judiciary, role of judges in efficient functioning of the judiciary, judgment writing and judicial ethics".

He delivered a keynote address on 18 August 2007 at the Karnataka Judicial Academy at Bangalore on "Effective role of alternative methods of dispute resolution and Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code".

He delivered the inaugural address on the occasion of the "Tenth Raj Anand Moot Court Competition on Intellectual Property Rights in India" at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 25 August 2007.

He delivered a special address at the National Judicial Academy’s North Zone Regional Judicial Workshop on "Techniques and tools for enhancing timely justice" at the Scope Complex, New Delhi, on 28 September 2007.

He delivered the main address at the National Law Conference on "Dispensation of justice: challenges posed by new and emerging trends in law" organized by the Bar Council of Rajasthan and the Bar Council of India at Jodhpur on 16 December 2007.

He delivered the keynote address on "Importance of moot court competition: an overview" at the fourth KK Luthra Memorial National Moot Court Competition at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 20 January 2008.

He delivered a special address at the function organized by the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee and Delhi High Court Bar Association on "Advance training in mediation" at Delhi on 1 February 2008.

He delivered a special address on "Review of legal education in law schools and continuing legal education" at the All India Seminar on Judicial Reforms organized by the Confederation of the Indian Bar at New Delhi on 23 February 2008.

He delivered the keynote address on "Professional ethics in reporting: problems in observance and solutions" at the workshop on "Law reporting and administration of justice" organized by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, the Press Council of India, the Indian Law Institute, the National Legal Services Authority and the Editors Guild of India on 30 March 2008.

He delivered a special address at the "Five day residential training course on reporting of court proceedings by media and administration of justice for legal correspondents/journalists" organized by the National Legal Services Authority and Indira Gandhi National Open University in association with the Press Council of India and the Editors Guild of India at Indira Gandhi Open University on 8 December 2008 in New Delhi.

He delivered the inaugural address at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the establishment of the Centre for Continuing Legal Education and Advocates’ Academy organized by the Bar Council of Rajasthan at Jodhpur on 14 December 2008.

He delivered a special lecture on the "Impact of globalization on the legal profession" in the lecture series organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association on 21 January 2009 at New Delhi.

He delivered the inaugural address at the Judicial Colloquium on "Right to education" organized by the Human Rights Law Network on 21 February 2009 at Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

He delivered the inaugural address at the seminar on "Expectations and experiences of dispute resolution in telecom and broadcasting sectors" organized by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal on 1 March 2009 at Jodhpur.

He delivered a special address on the occasion of inauguration of the Rajasthan Chapter of the International Law Association at Jodhpur.

He delivered the main address at the International Law Association Regional Conference at New Delhi on 20 September 2009.

He delivered the inaugural address at the National Tax Conference on "Taxation policy — economic development" organized by the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners on 19 December 2009 at Jaipur.

He delivered the keynote address on "Legal profession, reforms in legal education and continuing legal education" at a function of the Bar Association of India at Gauhati on 3 April 2010.

He delivered the keynote address on "Alternative dispute resolution mechanism: national and international perspectives" at ASC Hall, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, on 24 March 2007.

He delivered the keynote address at the National Colloquium on "Emerging issues in public law" organized by the National Judicial Academy at Bhopal.

He delivered the keynote address on "Child labour: moral and legal conflicts" at the symposium organized by the Delhi Legal Services Authority and Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University on 17 November 2007 at New Delhi.

He delivered the keynote address on "Ethics in medical profession and medical negligence" at the Medico Legal Conference organized by the Indian Medical Association, Gurgaon, at Gurgaon on 9 December 2007.

He delivered a special address on "Indian and US education: challenges and opportunities" at the seminar organized by the National Law School, Delhi, in collaboration with the Law School Admission Council, United States of America, and Institute of International Education, United States of America, on 14 September 2008 at New Delhi.

He delivered a special address on "The judicial role and activism and need for positive response from legislature and executive" at the function organized by Eastern Book Company on "Judicial review: the current controversy" at New Delhi on 25 October 2008.

He delivered the valedictory address at the seminar on "Terrorism, human security and human rights" organized by the OP Jindal Global University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University on 8 January 2009 at New Delhi.

He delivered the main address on the occasion of "Maa easwaramma day" organized by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization at New Delhi on 6 May 2009.

He delivered a lecture on "Lawyers: past, present and future" at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, Hyderabad, on 20 March 2010.

The University of Delhi and the Banaras Hindu University requested Dr. Bhandari to evaluate theses for the grant of degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

He delivered the convocation address at Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyala, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

He delivered the convocation address at Bhopal University, Madhya Pradesh.

He delivered the first convocation address of Jindal Global Law University, Sonipath, Haryana.

He also delivered the convocation address at Mahatma Gandhi Kashi University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

He was a recipient of the prestigious Rao Sinha Award, 2012.

On 15 June 2013, in the presence of His Excellency, the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the National Law University, Delhi, conferred on Justice Dalveer Bhandari an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LL D (Honoris Causa)). The citation read as follows: "Dr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari is a thorough crusader of gender justice and equality rights, particularly, the rights of the poor and the marginalized sections of the society. Dr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari is known for delivering landmarks and innovative judgments in many branches of law. He is recognized for his judgments in relation to providing food grains for population below poverty lines, night shelters for homeless people, right to free and compulsory education for children, larger allocation of funds for malnourished children and protection of ecology and environment, amongst others. The superior quality of his judgments is well recognized both in India and abroad. Dr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari is a shining example of legal acumen with a humantouch."

Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada, acknowledging the extraordinary contribution of Dr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari, observed that throughout his career he has served his country and the rest of humanity with leadership and distinction. In the citation it was also observed that Justice Bhandari’s contribution to the world had a lasting and positive impact.

Dr. Justice Bhandari received the Northwestern University’s first prestigious ‘International Alumni Award’ in 2013.

The society of International Law conferred an honorary life membership of the society on Dr. Justice Bhandari. The society also awarded him the distinction of Professor Emeritus of the Academy of International Law and Diplomacy.

In 2013 Dr. Justice Bhandari was invited to deliver public lectures by the Toronto and York Universities of Canada.

In December 2013, in functions jointly organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Netherlands and the City of The Hague, Justice Bhandari delivered a series of lectures in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Personal information

Date of birth: 1 October 1947.