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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

The girl who had courage to drag Section 66 (A) law to court

Upasana Mukherjee, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 30, 2012
First Published: 01:57 IST(30/11/2012) | Last Updated: 11:41 IST(30/11/2012)

"Someone needs to do something about it," says 21-year-old Shreya Singhal, who filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.

While following the news on the recent arrest of two Mumbai girls for posting comments on Facebook against the city's shutdown for Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's funeral, Shreya had a discussion with her mother Supreme Court advocate Manali Singhal and decided to take a stand.  Shreya is the granddaughter of Orissa governor MC Bhandare and late Justice Sunanda Bhandare.

"People being arrested for voicing their opinions is a gross violation of their right to free speech guaranteed under the constitution," Shreya, who graduated from the University of Bristol in Astrophysics, said. No wonder she plans to pursue a legal vocation. 

Asked about the deviation from astrophysics to law, Shreya says "I have been thinking about it all along.”

Having studied astrophysics, Shreya believes that her analytical and scientific bent of mind will help her pursue law. Although she adds a disclaimer that she "loves astrophysics".

Applying to law schools, Shreya likes to read and bake in her spare time. She finds baking therapeutic. She attended Vasant Valley School in Delhi. 
Being an avid follower of news, Shreya took notice of the arrest of a businessman in Puducherry for commenting on a politician's son. She was also appalled when cartoonist Aseem Trivedi was arrested in Mumbai. But the recent arrest of the two girls triggered her to take up the cudgels on behalf of netizens to ensure that social media is not gagged.


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