SC issues contempt notice to WB govt

Priyanka Sharma

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the West Bengal government on a contempt petition filed against it for the delay in releasing BJP youth wing leader Priyanka Sharma, despite the order over her immediate release in a case related to posting of meme on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Facebook.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose sought a response from the state government within four weeks on a petition filed by Rajib Sharma, brother of Sharma.

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for the petitioner, contended that no reply was filed by the state government to the habeas corpus petition.

The court, however, pointed out that nothing survived in the matter as she was released. But, the counsel said, “We want compensation and framing guidelines on the arrest of persons for the social media post. She was arrested on May 10 and released on May 15.”

The bench said they had no means to determine compensation, but it can consider the contempt petition.

The court had on May 14 sought the release of Sharma and asked her to tender an apology for posting a meme in which Mamata Banerjee's face was photoshopped on the form of actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas at MET Gala in New York.

But a day later, the court slammed the state government for keeping her behind the bars for a longer period of time. The petitioner had then said the state government deliberately did not disclose that it had filed a closure report.

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