At the International Court of Justice, Indian judge Dalveer Bhandari was among those who voted against Russia on Wednesday, directing the country to halt its invasion of Ukraine, reported Live Law.

“The Russian Federation, pending the final decision in the case, must immediately suspend the military operations it commenced in the territory of Ukraine on February 24, 2022,” the United Nations’ highest court ordered.

Bhandari’s vote, based on his interpretation of the conflict, is contrary to the stance India has taken. While New Delhi has sought an end to the violence in Ukraine, it has abstained from voting against Moscow thrice at the United Nations Security Council.

Justice Bhandari is serving his second term at the International Court of Justice. He was first elected to a seat in the World Court in April 2012 and re-elected again in 2018.

Wednesday’s United Nations court order was passed by a 13-2 majority vote. Chinese and Russian judges voted against the order. The judges who voted in favour are from India, the United States, Slovakia, France, Morocco, Somalia, Uganda, Jamaica, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Australia and Nicaragua.

The judges also added that Russia must ensure that other forces under its control or supported by Moscow should not continue the military operation.

Countries that refuse to follow the court’s orders can be referred to the United Nations Security Council, where Russia holds veto power.

The development came after Ukraine had asked the International Court of Justice two weeks ago to intervene in the crisis, reported the Associated Press. Ukraine argued that Russia has violated the 1948 Genocide Convention by falsely accusing Kyiv of committing genocide and using it as a pretext for launching the invasion.

The 1948 Genocide Convention was adopted in response to the atrocities committed during the Second World War and followed a 1947 General Assembly resolution, in which the UN recognised that “genocide is an international crime, which entails the national and international responsibility of individual persons and states”.

The convention has since then been widely accepted by the international community.

During last week’s hearing, Ukraine had said that Russia has started an “unprovoked aggression”.

“Cities under siege, civilians under fire, humanitarian catastrophe and refugees fleeing for their lives,” argued David Zionts, a member of Ukraine’s legal team.

Russia did not attend the hearings, but argued in a written submission that the UN court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and that nothing in the convention forbids the use of force.

Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the International Court of Justice order.

“Ukraine gained a complete victory in its case against Russia at the International Court of Justice,” Zelenskyy said in a tweet. “The ICJ ordered to immediately stop the invasion. The order is binding under international law. Russia must comply immediately. Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further.”

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