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May 2019
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Day after BJP''s massive victory, all eyes now on govt formation        Cong-JDS cabinet reposes faith in Kumaramaswamy after dismal show in LS polls        Surat: 19 students die as fire engulfs commercial complex        Britain''s Brexit-beaten Theresa May announces resignation, to step down on June 7        Two more Indian mountaineers die on Mount Everest, toll of Indians rises to 8        Nadal, Federer set up potential semifinal at Roland Garros        India, New Zealand seek tune-up in warm-up clash        Federer, Nadal threaten Djokovic bid for historic Slam        Uncertainty over Serena fitness, Osaka form at Roland Garros        Sensex, Nifty hit record highs as early trends hint at NDA win        Rupee rises 26 paise to 69.40/USD in early trade ahead of Lok Sabha elections outcome        Chinese man guilty of defrauding Apple out of 1,500 iPhones        US aviation regulator says Boeing hasn't submitted 737 MAX fix        Indian among 18 people arrested in Nigeria for illegal bunkering        US-Japan vision for Indo-Pacific serves as foundation for global partnership: White House        Rahul elected from Wayanad LS seat        Will approach party high command against Sidhu: Amarinder Singh        Amit Shah wins Gandhinagar seat by margin of 5.57 lakh votes        People of India decided Narendra Modi as PM, I fully respect it: Rahul Gandhi        BJP set to return to power as Modi wave sweeps most of India        
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National News
Morphed image of WB CM: SC says arrest of activist prima facie arbitrary
 
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday termed as "prima facie arbitrary" the arrest of BJP's youth wing leader for allegedly posting morphed image of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media and pulled up the West Bengal government for the delay in releasing her.

A vacation bench comprising justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna was informed by the counsel of activist Priyanka Sharma's brother that she was not released from jail on Tuesday despite the apex court's order granting her bail and ordering her immediate release.

However, the counsel for West Bengal government informed the bench that she has been released from jail at 9:40 am today.

"Why 9:40 am today? The order was passed in your presence," the bench told the state counsel.

When the state's counsel referred to the jail manual, the bench shot back, "Jail manual can't have precedence over an order of the Supreme Court."

"No. This is not done. First of all the arrest was prima facie arbitrary," the bench said.

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing for Priyanka's brother Rajib Sharma who filed the plea in the apex court, told the bench that despite the apex court's Tuesday order granting her bail she had to spend another night behind the bars.

Kaul told the bench that jail authorities Tuesday told them that they have to either bring certified copies of the apex court's order or approach the court of the chief judicial magistrate concerned for her release.

"If she is not released, the consequences will follow," the bench said and warned it will issue contempt to officials concerned if Sharma was not released from jail immediately.

"She should be released from jail within half an hour," the bench said.

The bench asked Kaul to get instructions whether she has been released from jail or not.

After a few minutes Kaul informed the bench that Sharma has been released from jail today.

Kaul told the court that they have moved a separate application, in which they have said that though the closure report in the case was filed in the trial court on May 13, the apex court was not informed during yesterday's hearing.

"If the Supreme Court was informed yesterday that the closure report has been filed in the trial court, then the apex court might not have asked her to apologise," Kaul said.

The apex court had Tuesday granted bail to Sharma and asked to apologise for posting the morphed image of Banerjee.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Kaul said the counsel for West Bengal was present in the apex court during yesterday's hearing but did not apprise the court about the closure report.

"You know very well what happens to a counsel appearing for the state," the bench observed.

To this Kaul said, "I am not on the counsel but I am on the conduct of the state."

However, the bench told Kaul to check up whether Sharma has been released from jail or not.

"If she is not released, we will issue contempt," the bench said.

However, Kaul said when the apex court had yesterday said that Priyanka should be released forthwith, why jail authorities did not release her.

"Does West Bengal state or the police have right to detain her even for a minute after the Supreme Court's order," Kaul asked.

He told the bench that their application be listed for hearing next week.

However, the bench said since Sharma has been released there was no urgency and the application will be heard in July after the summer vacation.

After taking instructions, Kaul told the bench that Sharma has been released from jail but jail authorities "forced" her to give an apology before being released from the prison.

Sharma was arrested on May 10 by the police under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC and under other provisions of the Information Technology Act on a complaint of a local Trinamool Congress leader Vibhas Hazra.

She was sent to 14-day judicial custody by a trial court there.

The apex court, which initially said Sharma's apology will be a bail condition, later clarified that it will not be a condition for bail but she should apologise for sharing the post at the time of her release.

The court had also sought response from West Bengal government on whether a person can be arrested for sharing a post or meme on social media and posted the matter for further hearing after the summer vacation.

On Monday, Kaul had mentioned the matter in the top court for urgent hearing, saying Sharma was forced to move the apex court as there was a complete strike in local courts till May 14 in Howrah and moreover, she had been remanded in 14-day judicial custody by a Howrah court on May 11.

Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) entails punishment for defamation with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Sharma had allegedly shared on Facebook the photo in which Banerjee's face has been photo-shopped on to actor Priyanka Chopra's picture from the MET Gala event in New York.

Her arrest was followed by protests from the BJP and other social media users.


Day after BJP''s massive victory, all eyes now on govt formation
Cong-JDS cabinet reposes faith in Kumaramaswamy after dismal show in LS polls
Will approach party high command against Sidhu: Amarinder Singh
Amit Shah wins Gandhinagar seat by margin of 5.57 lakh votes
People of India decided Narendra Modi as PM, I fully respect it: Rahul Gandhi
ISRO successfully launches earth observation satellite RISAT-2B
Two militants killed in encounter in Kulgam
Anil Ambani to withdraw defamation suits against Cong, Herald
Arunachal MLA, ten others gunned down by militants
BJP slams Oppn for questioning credibility of EVMs, asks it to accept defeat with grace
Swaraj to attend SCO foreign ministers meet in Bishkek from Tuesday
International calls diversion racket held in Telangana
Welcome decision to sack me as UP minister: Rajbhar
LS polls come to close; over 64 pc voting recorded in last phase
PM performs puja at Kedarnath after meditating for 17 hrs, will also visit Badrinath
Exit polls gossip, don''t trust them: Mamata
Opposition unity: Naidu meets Akhilesh, Mayawati over opposition unity post LS polls
Modi is an actor, says Priyanka; compares him to Asrani in Sholay
Every religion has its own terrorist: Kamal Haasan
Rahul Gandhi meets Alwar gang-rape victim; says she will get justice
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski to star in 'Stateless'
 Los Angeles: Cate Blanchett is set to feature in Australian TV psychological drama "Stateless".
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I am not going to get into politics: George Clooney
India moots tax breaks, refunds for foreign film units
To attack Vidyasagar is to attack Bangla language: Mahesh Bhatt
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Britain''s Brexit-beaten Theresa May announces resignation, to step down on June 7
 London: An embattled Theresa May announced Friday that she would resign as the UK''s Conservative le
Two more Indian mountaineers die on Mount Everest, toll of Indians rises to 8
US aviation regulator says Boeing hasn't submitted 737 MAX fix
Indian among 18 people arrested in Nigeria for illegal bunkering
KERALA NEWS
Rahul elected from Wayanad LS seat
 Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president Rahul Gandhi was Thursday declared elected from the Wayanad L
LS polls candidate attacked in Kerala
Two women abort their plan to enter Lord Ayyappa temple Sabarimala
Kerala CM meets CEOs of leading business firms in Switzerland
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