Goa Excise Commissioner begins hearing controversial liquor license case

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Panaji | Goa Excise Commissioner Narayan Gad on Friday began hearing the case of liquor license, in which RTI activist Aires Rodrigues has alleged that the license was obtained illegally and renewed though the applicant died in 2021.

‘Silly Souls Bar and restaurant’, allegedly being run by Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani’s family, at Bhouta Vaddo in Assagao Village has been at centre of controversy for the past few days after the Congress party addressed a press conference against it.

However, Smriti Irani has already clarified that her daughter is not involved in running a restaurant in Goa and has issued legal notice to Congress leaders demanding an apology from them.

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After hearing the complainant, Adv. Aires Rodrigues and Adv. Benny Nazareth representing the family of the liquor licence holder late Anthony DGama, the Excise Commissioner framed two issues for determination.

"The first issue being as to whether the excise licence was obtained by submitting false and inadequate documents and by misrepresenting facts and the second issue being whether there were procedural irregularities on the part of the excise officials," Rodrigues told reporters after hearing.

He said that the commissioner has directed the licence holder to file their response to the two issues and adjourned the further hearing to August 22.

Rodrigues in his complaint also drew the attention of the Excise Commissioner that last month on June 29 the license was renewed despite the applicant having died on May 17, 2021, as per the death certificate issued by the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai.

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"We are in a vibrant democracy, we respect the rule of law. Authorities have issued us a show cause notice, we have filed our replied," Benny Nazareth, representing DGama's family said.

He said that there are provisions in the Portuguese civil code, wherein after the death of spouse, his or her powers (in this case the liquor licence) are transferred automatically to the partner.

"Here it is a Portuguese Civil Code, under this ownership of property is jointly done in the name of husband and wife. But when the husband dies, the power goes automatically to the spouse. So further nothing actually needs to be done," Nazareth said.

By IANS

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