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Goa Bar Row: Second Hearing Of Complaint Before Excise Commissioner Today

Goa Bar Row: Second Hearing Of Complaint Before Excise Commissioner Today

The state Excise Commissioner is expected to hear the second hearing of a complaint against a restaurant in Goa that has allegedly been linked to Smriti Irani's daughter.

Union Minister Smriti Irani
Union Minister Smriti Irani PTI PHOTO/KAMAL SINGH

The second hearing of a complaint against a restaurant in Goa, which the Congress claimed was linked to Union minister Smriti Irani's daughter, will be held before the state Excise Commissioner in Panaji on Monday.

The first hearing was held on July 29 by Excise Commissioner Narayan Gad, who had issued a notice to the 'Silly Souls Café and Bar' located at Assagao in North Goa. Irani had filed a civil defamation suit against three Congress leaders for linking her daughter's name to the restaurant.

The Delhi High Court had observed that Irani and her daughter are neither owners of the restaurant in Goa nor have they ever applied for the license for food and beverages at the eatery, as alleged.

Social activist Aires Rodrigues filed a complaint on June 29th, alleging that the Excise office in Mapusa illegally renewed the restaurant's excise license in the name of a deceased person- Anthony DGama. The complaint stated that DGama died on May 17, 2021, and cited a death certificate issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

 During the first hearing of the complaint held on July 29, the Excise Commissioner framed two issues for determination- whether the excise license was obtained by Anthony DGama by submitting false, inadequate documents and by misrepresenting facts and whether there were procedural irregularities by Excise official. The DGama family was directed to file their response in this regard.

According to the complainant, though Excise rules allow a bar license to be issued only to a restaurant having a license, the Excise department on February 18, 2021, issued the license without the required restaurant license being in place in contravention of norms.

The complainant stated that the license was issued in the name of Anthony DGama despite he being a resident of Mumbai and the Aadhaar card was issued only on December 30, 2020, days before the application for the excise license was filed. The activist had also alleged that the mandatory police verification was not done.

  Anthony DGama's family advocate Benny Nazareth had cited provisions in the Portuguese Civil Code, which he said mandated that when a spouse dies, his or her powers - in this case the liquor license --get transferred automatically to the partner.

During the first hearing in the case, the family members of DGama had told authorities that it is entirely their business and no other person is involved in it. 

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