Firm linked to Smriti Irani’s family paid rent for cafe ‘run by her daughter’

Government records obtained under RTI Act suggest Eightall Food and Beverages took the plot on a 10-year lease to run a bar and restaurant.

ByPrateek Goyal
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Firm linked to Smriti Irani’s family paid rent for cafe ‘run by her daughter’
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Joshi was similarly appointed a director in Eightall through a resolution passed by a firm in which Zubin is a director. Ugraya Agro Farms Pvt Ltd, in which Zubin, Zohr and Zubin’s sister-in-law Mehernaz Kaizad Irani are directors, also passed a resolution to invest 25 percent of Eightall’s capital. Joshi happens to be director of two other firms linked to Zubin and Zohr – Shree Bawaji Foods and Heramba Life Sciences.

The lease agreement was executed between Eightall and Anthony D’Gama, who land records show is the owner of a major portion of the plot at 452, Bhouta Vaddo.

“The lessee is also desirous of conducting business of bar and restaurant and being desirous of setting up its business have approached the lessor and have offered to take the said premises mentioned above, on lease for a period of 10 years w.e.f 1/1/2021 upon payment of rent of Rs 50,000 per month,” the lease agreement states. “The lessor has accepted the proposal of the lessee and both the parties have accordingly entered into this agreement.”

In an interview with food vlogger Kunal Vijayakar in April, Zoish Irani had detailed the motive behind opening what she described as an international restaurant in Goa. Smriti Irani shared the interview on Instagram, tagging her daughter and the restaurant bar’s social media account and saying she was “proud”.

However, allegations that the minister’s daughter was illegally operating the Silly Souls Cafe and Bar stirred up a political slugfest – with the BJP and the Congress trading potshots.

Notably, it was on the basis of another RTI reply obtained by Rodrigues that the restaurant’s proprietor was accused of fraudulently renewing its liquor licence, which is in the name of a dead man. Goa’s excise department has since issued a showcause notice over the renewal of licence “despite the licence holder having passed away on May 17, 2021”.

Irani has denied that her daughter ran the restaurant and pointed out that neither the RTI reply nor the excise notice mentions her family. She has trashed the allegations as a “conspiracy” and sent a legal notice to three Congress leaders for allegedly maligning her family.

In July, Justice Mini Pushkarna of the Delhi High Court directed Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Netta D’Souza to delete their social media posts against Irani.

The high court last month sought the union minister’s reply to an application moved by Google stating that it could not remove alleged defamatory content against her in connection with the restaurant on YouTube without being provided the links of such videos.

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