New Delhi: Supreme Court Judge Dalveer Bhandari has been nominated as India's candidate for April election to the International Court of Justice.

The last Indian representation to ICJ was the then Chief Justice of India Raghunandan Swarup Pathak during 1989-91.

The External Affairs Minister in an RTI response has said, "Dalveer Bhandari has been nominated by the Indian National Group on the Permanent Court of Arbitration as the Indian candidate for the election to the ICJ."

In response to queries by Subhash Agrawal, the Ministry said as per the ICJ statutes, the nomination for election is made by National Groups in Permanent Court of Arbitration.

"The Government of India does not recommend candidates for nomination to the ICJ. However, Government of India is at liberty to forward names of potential candidates for the consideration of Indian National groups in Permanent Court of Arbitration," it said.

It said the elections to the vacancy were announced in the United Nations on January, 19 this year and the elections would be held on April 27.

"...the procedure for canvassing support for the Indian candidate to the election is presently going on. Canvassing for support for the elections involves sensitive dealings with the governments of foreign countries. Our lobbying efforts and electoral strategy is essentially a confidential process.”

Consequently, the process of decision making of Government of India, if revealed even before the elections are held may seriously compromise our ability to lobby strongly and effectively for the choice of Indian National Group," the Ministry said while refusing to make public whether PMO had given nod to the selection of Justice Bhandari.