Morphed picture of Mamata: SC grants bail to BJP's Priyanka Sharma, asks her to apologise
The family of West Bengal BJP functionary Priyanka Sharma distributed sweets and thanked the Supreme Court for granting her bail
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to a BJP activist arrested for allegedly posting a morphed image of Mamata Banerjee on social media and asked her to apologise while observing that freedom of speech ends when it infringes upon others' rights.
A vacation bench comprising justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna said Priyanka Sharma, a BJP Yuva Morcha leader, will apologise in writing upon her release from jail for allegedly posting the morphed picture of the West Bengal chief minister.
During the hearing, the bench observed that though freedom of speech is non-negotiable "your freedom of speech ends when it infringes upon others' rights". The bench observed that since Sharma is a member of a political party, the insinuation of posting such a picture will be different from those shared by common people.
Sharma was arrested on May 10 by the West Bengal Police under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC and under other provisions of the Information Technology Act on the complaint of a local Trinamool Congress leader Vibhas Hazra.
The family of West Bengal BJP functionary Priyanka Sharma distributed sweets and thanked the Supreme Court for granting her bail in connection with posting a morphed picture of state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Facebook.
Sharma's mother Raj Kumari thanked the apex court and said that the state government's decision to arrest her was not right.
"I am very happy. I am awaiting my daughter's return. I heartily thank the Supreme Court for such a decision. If she had done anything wrong the government could have warned her but directly putting her in custody and that too for 14 days is not done," she said.
Sharma, convenor of the Bharatiya Janata Party's youth wing in Howrah, was arrested on May 10 a day after posting a picture of actor Priyanka Chopra at the recent Metropolitan Museum Gala in New York with Banerjee's face allegedly superimposed on that of the actor.
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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies
BJP MLA OP Sharma arrested, later released on bail