Supreme Court Says Arrest of BJP Activist Over Meme Is Prima Facie Arbitrary

Supreme Court


Guwahati: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the West Bengal government why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activist Priyanka Sharma was made to spend another night in jail despite the order of the court to release her on Tuesday. The BJP activist has shared a meme of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last week.

The Supreme Court today said that the arrest was prima facie arbitrary adding that it would have issued contempt notice if she was not released.

The BJP activist Priyanka Sharma was arrested on Friday last after she shared a photo in which the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s face has been morphed in the form of actor Priyanka Chopra. The original picture of the Bollywood actress was photographed at the MET Gala event in New York.

Defence lawyer Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul while saying the court that Priyanka has been released at 9.40 am today, the top court asked, “Why 9.40 am? The order was passed in your presence” to which the lawyer replied that the jail superintendent wanted an order from the chief judicial magistrate despite the order of the top court for her immediate release.

Advocate Kaul, while appearing for Priyanka’s brother, the petitioner said that despite the Supreme Court order of releasing the BJP activist she was kept in jail for around 24 hours and it is a sheer humiliation. He said that Priyanka was forced to sign an apology before release. “We were told that the closure report in this case has been filed. If closure report was filed where the need for an apology is,” asked Neeraj.

The top court further said that it will take up the apology issue in July.

The BJP activist was picked up by the police from her home on Friday last and was sent to two weeks’ judicial custody. The charges cited on the complaint by a Trinamool Congress leader include defamation and offensive messages.