PANAJI: Goa Excise Commissioner Narayan Gad today adjourned to September 12 further hearing on the complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues over the illegally obtained liquor licence by ‘Silly Souls Café and Bar’ allegedly being run by the family of Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani at Bhouta Vaddo in Assagao Village.
As directed by the Excise Commissioner at the last hearing, the family of license holder late Anthony Gama today submitted their reply to the two issues framed for determination by the Excise Commissioner, the first issue being whether the excise licence was obtained by Anthony D’Gama submitting false, inadequate documents and by misrepresenting facts while the second issue being whether there were procedural irregularities on the part of the Excise officials.
Today the Excise Commissioner has asked Adv. Rodrigues to file his response.
Today’s hearing witnessed a war of words between Adv. Aires Rodrigues and Advocate Benny Nazareth, representing the family of late Anthony Gama, who claimed that they had now inherited the Excise License on the death of Anthony D’Gama, while Adv. Rodrigues vehemently argued that an Excise License cannot be automatically inherited by the heirs of a deceased license holder.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues, in his complaint, drew the attention of the Excise Commissioner that on June 29, the local Excise office at Mapusa, in clear contravention of law, renewed the Excise licence in the name of Anthony D’Gama despite him having passed away last year on May 17 as per the death certificate issued by the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai.
Adv. Rodrigues also pointed out that though the Excise rules allow a Bar licence to be issued only to an existing restaurant, the Excise department, on February 18 2021, in rank violation of law, issued the Excise licence without the required Restaurant licence being in place.
Adv. Rodrigues further pointed out that the licence issued in the name of Anthony D’Gama was issued despite the Aadhaar card submitted by him showing that he was a resident of Mumbai and that the Aadhaar card was issued only on December 30 2020, days before the Excise licence application was filed while the required mandatory Police verification was also not done.
In a connected development, the Director of Panchayats Siddhi Halarnkar, acting on a complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues has already directed the Mapusa Block Development Officer Shivprasad Naik to investigate whether the construction of that Restaurant was illegal, while the Chief Town Planner Rajesh Naik has directed the Mapusa Senior Town Planner R.K.Pandita to probe into the complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues about the illegal change of land use and filling of low lying tenanted field done in rank contravention of law to erect the Restaurant is run by Smriti Irani’s family.
Meanwhile, Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today once again publicly appealed to Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai to direct the Goa Government to set up an SIT (Special Investigation Team) headed by a retired High Court Judge to probe the blatant and very serious illegalities in the setting up of ‘Silly Souls Café & Bar’ allegedly being run by Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani’s family at Bhouta Vaddo in Assagao Village.
Alleging that undue political pressure is being exerted on Town & Country Planning department and Panchayat Officials to shield Smriti Irani’s family, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that officials are being coerced not to act against the illegal construction and landfilling of a tenanted field by ‘Silly Souls Café & Bar.
Adv. Rodrigues has further stated that the people of Goa are entitled to know the whole truth in the matter and that those guilty of breaching the law must face the rigours of law for all the gross illegalities at Silly Souls Café & Bar which have allegedly been committed with political patronage enjoyed by BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani.