Published On: Tue, May 14th, 2019

SC grants bail to BJP activist for sharing Mamata meme

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of BJP Yuva Morcha leader Priyanka Sharma, who was arrested for sharing a morphed photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The top court also waived off the earlier condition asking Sharma to submit an unconditional apology in writing immediately after coming out of jail.

She was arrested by West Bengal police on May 11 for allegedly sharing a morphed photo of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Initially, the court had ordered Sharma to be released on bail on the subject that she should tender an apology.

Sharma’s counsel Neeraj Kishan Kaul vehemently argued that an apology would have a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

The court modified its order stating that upon her release, she will tender an apology.

During the arguments, Kaul said that political satire cannot be penalised. “It will set up a wrong trend.”

The SC further issued a notice to West Bengal government seeking its response on whether a political leader can be prosecuted for sharing an alleged objectionable post which is a kind of a political satire.

A vacation bench, comprising of Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna, observed that a person’s freedom of speech is non-negotiable. However, the “freedom of speech ends when it infringes upon others’ rights”.

She was arrested by West Bengal police on May 11 for allegedly sharing a morphed photo of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Facebook.

A complaint against her was lodged at Dasnagar Police station on May 10 by local Trinamool Congress leader Vibhas Hazra. The West Bengal police said that Priyanka allegedly uploaded and shared morphed picture of Mamata Banerjee in her Facebook timeline.

Senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had denounced Priyanka’s arrest saying such arrest should not happen otherwise there will be no freedom of speech in this country.

“The reign of terror of @MamataOfficial would embarrass even worst tyrants of world! To lend moral support, I met Smt Rajkumari Sharma, mother of @BJP4Bengal worker Ms Priyanka Sharma, arrested for making a meme on Mamata Didi. We’re seeking judicial intervention for her release,” tweeted Sarma.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>