Mamata Banerjee meme case: SC issues notice to Bengal government on delay in release of BJP activist

In the petition, it has been alleged that there was a delay in releasing activist Priyanka Sharma, despite the apex court's order granting bail to her.

Published: 01st July 2019 12:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2019 12:29 PM   |  A+A-

Morphed photo of Mamata Banerjee

An undated picture of woman BJP activist Priyanka Sharma who was arrested for allegedly posting morphed image of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media. | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a show cause notice to West Bengal government on a contempt plea for not releasing BJP activist Priyanka Sharma on bail immediately. Priyanka was arrested last month for allegedly posting CM Mamata Banerjee’s meme on social media.

Priyanka’s brother, Rajib Sharma, had approached the court alleging that there was a delay in releasing his sister despite the apex court’s order granting bail.A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi issued the notice to the state government and sought the response after four weeks.

On May 14, a vacation bench had directed the immediate release of Priyanka, a BJP Yuva Morcha leader, on bail but she was released on May 15.

She was arrested on May 10 by the West Bengal police under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC and under the provisions of the IT Act on a complaint by a Trinamool leader for allegedly posting the meme on social media.

Rajib approached the apex court alleging that there was a delay of over 24 hours in releasing his sister from jail, despite the court’s May 14 order. He has alleged that during the hearing in the apex court on May 14, the state government had suppressed the fact that a closure report was filed in the case before the concerned trial court on May 13.

While granting bail, the bench had termed the arrest prima facie arbitrary and pulled up the state for the delay in releasing Priyanka. The apex court, which initially said Priyanka’s apology would be a bail condition, later clarified that it would not be a condition for bail, but she should apologise for sharing the post once released.

Sharma had allegedly shared the photo in which Banerjee’s face has been photo-shopped on to actor Priyanka Chopra’s picture at the MET Gala in New York.

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