It's curtains down on 'Silly Souls Café and Bar'

It's curtains down on 'Silly Souls Café and Bar'

It hit like a storm and dominated the news here, there and everywhere. In the mainstream print media, on national television and social media too.

Two years later, the maxim: 'public memory is short' is getting proven yet again.

Yes.  'Silly Souls Café and Bar’ at Assagao which is one of Goa's most upmarket locales, is no more. After all the brouhaha it generated, landing even in the High Court of Delhi, where Union Minister Smriti Irani sued the Congress' Jairam Ramesh and others for libel accusing them of dragging her name into the controversy when she had nothing to do with the restaurant allegedly run by her kin. 

 For the record, Eightall LLP, the company which had leased the Assagao property from the D'Gama family and in which a couple of Irani's kin have ownership interests, has packed up and left after shutting  'Silly Souls Café and Bar’ .

Also, the legal challenge launched by public spirited lawyer Aires Rodrigues, to the excise licence on which  'Silly Souls Café and Bar’  operated and which was issued in the name of the long deceased D'Gama patriarch, has also come to a dead end with Chief Secretary Puneet Kumar Goel, upholding the Excise Commissioner's ruling that the transfer of the licence to the wife of the deceased, was valid.

The licence was issued to Anthony D'Gama in May 2021 and renewed a year later in June 2022, although he had died in the interim.

Goel's order was passed about a year ago and with it l'affaire 'Silly Souls' too came to a dead end with no logical conclusion to the very many issues of legality and propriety that were raised as the sordid controversy played out over nearly two years.   

 In October 2022, the then Excise Commissioner Narayan Gad had passed his order after hearing both Rodrigues as well as the lawyer for the D'Gama's, that the transfer of the licence in the name of the wife of the deceased was valid and legal.

While Irani claimed that she had nothing to do with the 'Silly Souls Café and Bar’ when the controversy broke out and even sued Ramesh and other Congress leaders before the Delhi High Court and got a favourable order, quasi-judicial proceedings before the Excise Commissioner and later the Chief Secretary revealed her kin were involved.

The GST No 30AAIFE7039H1ZM as well as the FDA licence used by Silly Souls Café & Bar was in the name of Eightall Food and Beverages which operated in partnership with Ugraya Mercantile Pvt Limited of which Irani's husband Zubin Irani was a Director. On record in the proceedings, D'Gama's counsel took ownership of 'Silly Souls Café and Bar’ and denied any involvement of Eightall Food and Beverages in it.

We've heard of bodies dying and getting buried. In Goa, and with politics in the mix, even souls get buried, albeit the silly ones!

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