The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to West Bengal BJP functionary Priyanka Sharma who was arrested on May 10 for allegedly posting a morphed picture of state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Facebook.
"Subject to Priyanka Sharma tendering an apology in writing for putting up on objectionable picture on Facebook account, she shall be immediately released. At the time of release, she shall tender an apology in writing," a vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna said in its order.
Priyanka Sharma will have to tender an apology in writing at the time of her release.
The order also says "It is made clear that this order is being made in the special facts and circumstances of this case and shall not operate as a precedent"
The court also issues notice to West Bengal police over the way the 25-year-old was taken into custody.
Netizens have reacted sharply over Supreme Court's shocking decision and are urging Priyanka Sharma to refuse to apologise. Users on social media say that it is a mockery of fundamental rights.
Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who in 2012 had been arrested on charges of sedition for a cartoon he had made spoke to Republic TV on Monday.
"Priyanka Sharma's arrest should be opposed. No matter what her political inclination is, the image that she has posted on not-so questionable, for which she has been arrested. It happens everywhere. People on social media mock their politicians. This can not happen in a strong democracy where a person is getting arrested for memes. If this is happening right now, then it means that the politicians are showing themselves as the 'dictators'."
(With inputs from ANI)