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Silly Souls Row: Smriti Irani Sends Legal Notice to Congress, Demands Apology

RTI activist Aires Rodrigues said that "the whole world knows" that the bar is managed and run by Irani's family.

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Silly Souls Row: Smriti Irani Sends Legal Notice to Congress, Demands Apology
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Union Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday, 24 July, has sent a legal notice to the Congress party and its leaders Pawan Khera, Jairam Ramesh, and Netta D'Souza over allegations that her daughter runs an "illegal bar" in Goa's Assagao.

Irani, who has categorically denied the allegations, has asked the leaders to tender an unconditional written apology and withdraw the allegations with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Aires Rodrigues, the lawyer and RTI activist who found alleged lapses in licence procurement, said that "the whole world knows" that the 'Silly Souls Café and Bar' is managed and run by the Union minister's family.

"There is enough evidence to this effect," he said.

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'Other Prime Properties in Goa'

Silly Souls Cafe and Bar, allegedly operated by Irani's daughter Zoish Irani, landed in controversy after Rodrigues found that its owners renewed the restaurant's liquor licence using the name of a deceased person.

Narayan M Gad, the excise commissioner of Goa, then issued a show-cause notice to the restaurant and a hearing is scheduled for 29 July.

"There needs to be a thorough inquiry into this alleged fraud which was orchestrated by Smriti Irani’s family in conjunction with Excise officials and the local Assagao Panchayat," Rodrigues said.

He alleged that Smriti Irani’s family owns other prime properties in Goa, "the land of fish, feni and fun," and called for law enforcement authorities to probe further.

"The Excise department issued the licences in the name of one Mr Anthony Dgama, who as per the Aadhaar card submitted by him shows that he was a resident of Mumbai and that the Aadhaar was issued on 30 December 2020," Rodrigues said.

"Last month on 29 June the local Excise office in clear contravention of law renewed those licences in the name of Anthony Dgama despite him having passed away last year on 17th May 2021 as per the death certificate issued by the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai," he added.

"Those in power should not dare hoodwink the authorities as the long arm of the Law catches up, slowly but surely. There must also be a probe into the legality of all properties including benami ones bought in Goa by Smriti Irani and other central leaders."
Aires Rodrigues, lawyer and RTI activist

The Congress party on Saturday, 23 July, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately sack Smriti Irani.

"We demand from the prime minister that Smriti Irani should be immediately sacked as a minister from the Union cabinet. You owe it to this country, to the youth of this country [sic]," Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said while speaking to journalists at a press meet.

"The fault of that 18-year-old girl who studies in the first year of college is that her mother did a press conference on the loot by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi of Rs 5,000 crores," Irani responded in a subsequent press conference.

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Topics:  Smriti Irani   Goa   Pawan Khera 

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