Meme case: Supreme Court issues notice to West Bengal
The Supreme Court on Monday gave the West Bengal government four weeks to respond to a contempt petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activist Priyanka Sharma who was arrested last month over a meme on the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Sharma has alleged contempt on the grounds that she was detained illegally for 24 hours despite the top court ordering her release.
A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to the Trinamool Congress government on a contempt application filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party worker whose brother, Rajib Sharma, had approached the court at the time of her arrest.
The top court had on May 14 ordered Sharma’s immediate release after a petition was filed before it by Rajib Sharma.
A vacation bench of justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna had directed her release with a condition that she should apologise for sharing Mamata Banerjee’s morphed picture on Facebook.
Sharma was, however, released from jail on May 15. The family learnt about her release only after Rajib Sharma rushed to the court complaining his sister continued to languish in jail despite the release orders.
The apex court also sought a reply from the state on an additional application filed by Rajib Sharma claiming the government had suppressed the fact that a closure report was filed in the case against Sharma before the trial court concerned on May 13 itself.
On May 10, Sharma,was arrested and sent to 14 days’ judicial custody for allegedly sharing a morphed photo on her Facebook timeline in which Banerjee’s face was photoshopped on the body of actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas from her appearance at an event in New York.