Mamata Banerjee controversial meme row: SC grants bail to BJP youth leader Priyanka Sharma

AAP govt moves SC seeking constitution of larger bench to decide

Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to Bhartiya Janta Party youth wing leader Priyanka Sharma. She was arrested in connection with the Mamata Banerjee controversial meme row. Apex court has asked her to give a written apology to the West Bengal chief minister post her release.

Holding a hearing on the matter, the Supreme Court vacation bench had earlier observed: “We can grant bail but she has to apologise.”

Priyanka was arrested by the West Bengal Police for sharing the controversial meme of the state chief minister over social media.

Reacting to the Supreme Court order, Priyanka’s lawyer Kaul had said, “this would have a chilling effect on the freedom of speech and expression”. The lawyer had earlier argued in the court that his client had only shared the morphed picture on the social media and did not herself create it.

Earlier, Sharma’s family members had alleged that she was arrested at the ruling TMC’s behest as she worked for BJP. Her mother told ANI on Sunday, “My daughter was arrested because she used to work for BJP. This is all part of a bigger plot. This is the first time she is far away from us. Had she been a TMC worker, nothing bad would have happened to her, This has been done at the behest of TMC. The fact that she is in jail has increased our worries.” Sharma’s arrest led to strong condemnation by BJP leaders, who alleged that TMC was indulging in politics of “hate and violence” and that an “Emergency-like situation’ prevailed in the state.