A-G banks on dead horse

Updated - September 12, 2016 10:19 am IST

Published - April 28, 2016 02:08 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Shaktiman, the dead police horse, became a ground in the Centre’s arguments in the Supreme Court on Wednesday to justify imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand.

Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi referred repeatedly to the arrest of Uttarakhand BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi, accused of assaulting the police horse on the morning of March 18, the day on which the Money Bill was tabled in the Assembly.

“They arrested him for beating up the horse. It was one BJP MLA less in the Assembly on March 18,” Mr. Rohatgi told a Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra.

Exasperated by the repeated reference to the dead horse, Justice Misra asked the Attorney General what the horse had got to do with the proclamation of emergency on March 27.

“Why are you talking about this horse?” Justice Misra asked.

“It was one BJP member less ... that’s all,” Mr. Rohatgi replied.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, from the other side, pitched in to say that it was a case of “a horse on the one hand and horse-trading on the other.”

He was referring to how nine Congress MLAs had defected to join forces with the opposition BJP in the Assembly.

“The horse is a noble animal. But these traders are not,” Mr. Sibal submitted.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, also on the Congress side, said this was a case of grabbing a “kingdom for a horse.”

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