The Supreme Court Wednesday called the arrest of BJP youth wing convenor Priyanka Sharma as “prima facie arbitrary” and censured the West Bengal government for the delay in the release of Sharma who was arrested last week for sharing a meme of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media, PTI reported.
“This is not done. First of all the arrest was prima facie arbitrary,” the vacation bench comprising justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna said and warned it would issue contempt against officials concerned if Sharma is not released immediately from jail.
Read | Morphed photo of Mamata: SC grants bail to BJP worker, tells her to apologise
As per a report by ANI, Sharma addressed a press conference saying that she was released 18 hours after getting bail and was made to sign an apology by the police. She added that ‘she will fight this case and will not apologise’.
She said: “My bail was granted yesterday, but still I wasn’t released for another 18 hours. They didn’t allow me to meet my advocate and family. They made me sign an apology.”
Read this story in Bangla
Sharma’s counsel Neeraj Kishan Kaul told the apex court that Sharma has been released from jail at around 9:40 am on Wednesday. Kaul added that before being released by the state police authorities, Sharma was made to sign a statement prepared by the police. Kaul claims that it was an apology letter prepared which says she will not post this (meme) again.
“I’m told, subject to verification, that she was released at 9:40-10:00 am and that too after made to sign a statement prepared by police. It reflects an extremely disturbing trend that SC’s order that said ‘forthwith release her’ wasn’t followed for 24 hrs,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Also read | Mamata meme controversy: BJP youth wing leader’s mother celebrates ‘victory’ with plans for biryani– ‘Priyanka’s favourite’
Sharma was arrested on May 10 for sharing a picture of actor Priyanka Chopra at the red carpet of an event in New York, with Banerjee’s face superimposed on the actor’s. She was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by a court in Howrah.
The apex court had granted bail to Sharma Tuesday and had asked her to tender an apology following her release.
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