Trouble For Smriti Irani As Daughter’s Goa Bar Under Scanner For ‘Fabricated License’

According to a report by news portal The Wire, a bar run by Zoish, the daughter of Union Minister Smriti Irani, in North Goa’s Asagaon, wrongly tried to renew the liquor license in the name of a person who died a long time ago. A local lawyer has made allegations regarding the same and submitted the complaint.

On 21 July, Goa’s Excise Commissioner, Narayan M Gad, issued a show cause notice to Silly Souls Cafe and Bar run by Zoish Irani based on a complaint filed by lawyer Ares Rodrigues. Ares Rodrigues has alleged that “fraudulent and fabricated documents were produced” to obtain a liquor license.

The notice states that, “The license has been renewed last month, while the license holder has died in the month of May last year itself.”

The notice also said that the application for renewal of the license was made on June 22, 2022 in the name of Anthony Dagama, though Dagama died in May last year. The Excise Department said the application was “signed by someone else on behalf of the license holder saying ‘Please renew this license for the year 2022-23 and will transfer the said license within six months’.”

Hearing in this matter has been fixed for July 29.

Rodrigues, who managed to glean information through documents after filing an RTI application, said he wanted a “thorough investigation into this mega-fraud by the Union minister’s family in collaboration with excise officials and the local Asagaon panchayat.” ”

According to the lawyer, the excise rules in Goa allow only existing restaurants to issue bar licenses. In the case of Silly Souls Cafe and Bar, the excise department in February last year broke rules to give licenses for foreign liquor and another Indian-made foreign liquor and country liquor to owners, operating a restaurant near that posh outlet. They didn’t even have a license, he said.

All the excise applications were made in the name of Anthony Dagama whose Aadhaar card issued in December 2020 shows him as a resident of Vile Parle, Mumbai.

In a YouTube segment with Food Critic Kunal Vijaykar, Zoish Irani said Goa was a huge tourist hub, but it lagged behind in high-end dining of international caliber and expected Silly Souls to become Goa’s “food destination”.

Congress leader Alka Lamba has accused Union Minister Smriti Irani after this report surfaced and asked: “Is it true that your daughter got a license to serve liquor in Goa in the name of a dead person by forgery, over which the Excise Commissioner has sent a notice to him?”

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