Smriti Irani’s family has invested in a company possibly linked to the controversial Goa coffee shop: The Indian Express

A Goan cafe that has been at the center of political controversy since June 23 is linked to the family of Union Minister Smriti Irani through a series of financial deals, The Indian Express reported Tuesday.

Last month, Congress called for Irani’s resignation after reports claimed that the Silly Souls Goa Café and Bar, allegedly run by his daughter Zoish Irani, renewed its liquor license illegally.

In response to the allegations, Zoish Irani’s attorney, Kirat Nagra, claimed his client does not own or operate the restaurant. Nagra also said his client only did an internship with the chef of Silly Souls Café.

However, the official documents consulted by The Indian Express indicate that companies owned by three members of Smriti Irani’s family may be linked to coffee.

According to records, Zoish Irani, son of Minister Zohr Irani, her husband Zubin Irani and daughter Shanelle Irani own two companies named Ugraya Mercantile Private Limited and Ugraya Agro Farms Private Limited.

These two companies invested in a third company named Eightall Food and Beverages LLP in 2020-2021.

Smriti Irani, however, does not hold shares in any of the three companies.

According to records viewed through Goods and Services Tax Identification Numbers, or GSTIN, Eightall has listed its principal establishment as H No 452, Ground Floor, Bouta Waddo, Assagao, North Goa, Goa. The Silly Souls Goa Café and Bar also has the same address.

While Ugraya Mercantile has decided to invest up to 50% of Eightall’s total capital, Ugraya Agro has decided to invest up to 25%, The Indian Express reported, citing documents filed with the Registrar of Companies.

Ugraya Mercantile and Ugraya Agro have also extended short term loans of Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively to Eightall.

The liquor license issued to Silly Souls Goa Café and Bar was reportedly registered in the name of Anthony D’Gama, a resident of Mumbai. However, a notice from Goa Excise Commissioner Narayan M Gad said the liquor license was renewed in June even though D’Gama died on May 17, 2021.

Cafe owner Dean D’Gama refused to answer questions posed by The Indian Express about the restaurant’s address being the same as Eightall’s principal place of business.

Its attorney, attorney Benny Nazareth, claimed the restaurant had a valid excise license. He also said his client responded to the show cause notice.

Commenting on Zoish Irani’s alleged links to coffee, his lawyer, Nagra, said the case was pending. “Secondly, we would not say anything about the restaurant or anything related to the case, directly or indirectly, he said. The Indian Express.

Several opposition leaders questioned Smriti Irani on Tuesday about the allegations.

Congress has asked the Union minister to “break her silence” on the issue.

Other opposition leaders have also questioned the minister’s claims.

On July 29, the Delhi High Court observed prima facie that Smriti Irani and Zoish Irani are not the owners of Silly Souls Café and Bar. He ordered congressional leaders to remove, within 24 hours, allegedly defamatory social media posts linked to Iranians.

The court also issued notices to Congress leaders Pawan Khera, Jairam Ramesh and Netta D’Souza requesting their response to the civil defamation lawsuit filed by the Union Minister.

Comments are closed.