New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the West Bengal government for delaying the release of BJP member Priyanka Sharma from jail, Sharma was arrested for sharing a morphed picture of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and there was a delay in her release from jail despite the directions of the apex court that she be “immediately freed”.

Sharma was released on May 15 but had refused to apologise for putting up the morphed picture.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notices to the state government and others on the contempt plea filed by the activist’s brother Rajib Sharma. Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing Rajib, said that though Priyanka was granted bail on May 14, she was not freed.

In fact, the jail authorities had demanded that they got copies of the court order or approached the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court concerned.

On Monday, when the state’s counsel referred to the jail manual, the apex court said, “Jail manual can’t have precedence over an order of the Supreme Court.”

“This is not done. First of all, the arrest was prima facie arbitrary,” the bench said and warned of contempt proceedings. Rajib’s counsel asked what right the state had and the police have to detain her even for a minute after the apex court’s order.

Priyanka said, “I will fight this case. I will not apologise for a meme… I was detained for 18 hours even after my bail was granted… They did not allow me to meet my advocate and family. They made me sign an apology forcefully. I was tortured in jail. The jail staff pushed me as if I was a criminal.”