Supreme Court granted conditional bail to BJP youth wing worker Priyanka Sharma on giving a written apology for posting an undesirable picture of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media. Priyanka is the convenor of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and was taken to custody for sharing a morphed picture of Ms Mamata Banerjee.
“She’s a member of the political party. Elections are going on. At this stage, we are not on the aspect of criminal law. We are asking for an apology because it is election time,” the Supreme Court bench said.
Priyanka was represented by senior counsel Neeraj Kishan Kaul, who said in the court that this was a grave violation of her constitutional rights. “She deleted the post before she was arrested. This meme is going viral, she is not the only one who shared it,” he said. He also said that his concern is that someone is getting arrested for a meme.
“Anyone else tomorrow will be told that you will be arrested for memes and you will have to apologise for bail,” he added.
Supreme Court begins hearing in the petition filed against the arrest of BJP worker Priyanka Sharma for sharing a morphed image of WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.@MamataOfficial pic.twitter.com/2qzqlU7ZKk
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) May 14, 2019
The meme Sharma had shared showed Mamata Banerjee’s face photoshopped on a picture of Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra. The larger question pertaining to Freedom of Expression is kept open by the Court and notice issued to West Bengal.