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Illegal Excise License to “Silly Souls Cafè & Bar”: Final Arguments on October 13th



Panaji: Goa Excise Commissioner Narayan Gad will on October 13th hear final arguments on the complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues over the illegally obtained liquor licence by the now controversial ‘Silly Souls Café and Bar’ in Assagao allegedly run by the family of Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani. Adv. Aires Rodrigues today filed his detailed written response to the replies filed earlier by the family of the Excise license holder late Anthony Dgama.

Pointing out that the property where Silly Souls Café & Bar is located was leased to Eightall Food and Beverages LLP by Anthony Dgama with effect from 1st January 2021 for a period of 10 years at a monthly rent of Rs 50,000, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that it was evident that on 05th January 2021 when Anthony Dgama applied for the Excise Licence the premises was already leased out to Eightall Food and Beverages.

Eightall Food and Beverages Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is operating in partnership with Ugraya Mercantile Pvt Limited of which Zubin Irani the husband of Smriti Irani is a Director.

Stating that the GST No 30AAIFE7039H1ZM used by Silly Souls Café & Bar was also in the name of Eightall Food and Beverages LLP, Adv. Rodrigues has in his reply further pointed out that the Food & Drugs Licence was also in the name of the same company.

Alleging that the license was applied for in the name of Anthony Dgama in contravention of the provisions of the Goa Excise Duty Act, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the family of Anthony Dgama could not take shelter under the Portuguese Civil Code 1867, as Anthony Dgama having been domiciled in Bombay the Portuguese law does not apply, while relying on a 1916 judgement of the Bombay High Court on the issue. Adv. Rodrigues has in his response further stated that an Excise license for Sale of liquor is not an asset but just a permission that lapses on the death of the license holder and is not transferable.

Alleging that Anthony Dgama taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the then prevailing lockdown deviously and by suppressing facts managed to obtain the Excise licence by circumventing the law, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that thankfully to the Right to Information Act all those illegal and unlawful acts committed have now come to light.

While seeking that the Excise licence be cancelled as it was issued contrary to law, Adv. Rodrigues in his response has pointed out that this was a fit case to initiate criminal proceedings of fraud and forgery against the heirs of Anthony Dgama to send a stern message that no one should dare hoodwink the Rule of Law.

Silly Souls Café & Bar has remained closed ever since the controversy over the legality of its Excise licence broke out in July.