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Union minister Smriti Irani has told the Delhi high court that neither she nor her daughter own or run the Silly Souls Café and Bar in Goa. The controversy emerged after it was found that the owners had renewed the restaurant’s liquor licence using the name of a deceased person.
The entire controversy began on July 21 when Herald Goa published a story based on an RTI response received by lawyer and activist Aires Rodrigues which alleged that the state excise department had illegally renewed the excise licence of Silly Souls Bar and Cafe. The website claimed the restaurant was linked to Smriti Irani’s family but provided no further details.
On Rodrigues’ complaint, the Goa excise commissioner issued a show-cause notice in the name of the restaurant, following which the Congress party launched a scathing attack on Irani.
Reports are now surfacing of the close links that Irani’s family has with the location where the restaurant stands.
Senior editor Arfa Khanum Sherwani speaks with journalist Ravi Nair who investigated this exclusive story for The Wire.