Food License for Silly Souls Cafe Issued to Company run by Smriti Irani’s Spouse
Irani had earlier denied having any association with the Silly Souls Cafe and Bar.
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Silly Souls, the controversial Goa restaurant and bar located at a private home in Assagao, is controlled by Eightall Food and Beverages Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), a company run by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Smriti Irani's husband and children.
A Right to Information request has revealed that a food license was issued by the State Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration under a lease agreement between Dean D’Gama, the lawful attorney of his father Anthony D’Gama, and the company.
Irani had earlier denied any association of her, and her daughter, with the Silly Souls Cafe and Bar at House 452, Bouta Waddo, Assagao, Goa.
In an RTI response, lawyer and activist Aires Rodrigues said that the documents revealed that a lease agreement was signed between Anthony D’Gama’s lawful attorney Dean D’Gama and Eightall Food and Beverages on 1 January 2021 for a period of ten years at a monthly rent of Rs 50,000.
Smriti Irani’s husband and family owns a 75% stake in Eightall Food and Beverages Limited Liability Partnership.
Irani has been at the centre of the controversy since the Goa excise commissioner issued a notice in July alleging that the liquor license of Silly Souls Cafe and Bar had been renewed illegally. Irani’s daughter, Zoish, had, in an interview, said that the restaurant was hers, contrary to Irani’s claims.
The application, complete with the company board's resolutions, was made online and approved after a site visit on 26 June 2021.
On 23 July 2021, the Goa government’s FDA directorate issued Eightall Food and Beverages with an Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) license, bearing the number 10621001000195, under the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act.
That this is the same FSSA license number used by Silly Souls Cafe and Bar can be seen from the restaurant’s page on Zomato, the online food ordering app.
The liquor licence for the company was renewed in June 2022 but D’Gama had died on 17 May 2021, thus making the renewal illegal. Rodrigues claimed that “fraudulent and fabricated documents were produced” to acquire the liquor licence.
In a show cause notice dated 21 July, the excise department had said, “The licence was renewed last month, despite the licence holder having passed away on 17/05/2021.”
The Delhi High Court, in an order from 29 July, had observed that no licence was ever issued in favour of Union Minister Smriti Irani and her daughter with regards to the Silly Souls Cafe and Bar in Goa's Assagao.
“Considering the documents on record, it is clearly seen that there was no license which was ever issued in favour of the plaintiff or her daughter. The plaintiff or her daughter are not the owners of the restaurant. It has also been established by the plaintiff prima facie that the plaintiff or her daughter never applied for license,” the court had observed.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)
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Topics: Smriti Irani Goa Smriti Irani daughter
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