Days after a young BJP activist was sent to judicial custody, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to her with a rider to apologise to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
BJP activist Priyanka Sharma was arrested by West Bengal police for allegedly posting a morphed image of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media
The bench said, “The detenue, Priyanka Sharma, is directed to be immediately released on bail. The detenue shall, however, at the time of release, tender an apology in writing for putting up or sharing the pictures complained on her Face book account. It is made clear that this order is being made in the special facts and circumstances of this case and shall not operate as precedent.”
The court directed immediate release of her while seeking answer from West Bengal government on whether a person can be arrested for sharing a post or meme on social media and posted the matter for further hearing after the summer vacation.
She was taken into custody on May 10 by the police under section 500 (defamation) of IPC and under other provisions of the IT act on a complaint of a local Trinamool Congress leader Vibhas Hazra. She was sent to 10 days judicial custody by a trial court.
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During the bail hearing a vacation bench, comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khannadirected Priyanka to tender written apology at the time of her release from jail for sharing meme on Mamata Banerjee saying that freedom of speech of an individual ends when it infringes upon others’ rights.