Amid reports alleging her involvement with an "illegal bar" in Goa, Union Minister Smriti Irani's daughter Zoish on Saturday termed these charges as "baseless" and said she was neither an owner nor operating the restaurant.
In a statement, Zoish Irani's lawyer, Kirat Nagra, denied the charges against her client, saying Smriti Irani's political opponents have levelled various "concocted" allegations against her with a predetermined objective of defaming her for solely being the daughter of a political leader.
Her statement followed reports in a section of media, quoting which the Congress alleged that Irani's daughter was running an "illegal bar" in Goa and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sack the Union minister.
Lawyer terms the allegations as 'false propaganda'
Zoish's lawyer, however, said she has not received any show cause notice from any authority. "My client , a young eighteen-year-old student and a budding chef who has worked in various restaurants to learn culinary arts, is sought to be scarred in perpetuity by her mother's political opponents who with oblique and ulterior motive, seek to malign her."
"These political opponents have leveled various baseless charges and concocted allegations against our client. It is unfortunate that they have resorted to spreading a false propaganda only to sensationalize a non issue without ascertaining true facts and with a predetermined objective of defaming our client for solely being the daughter of a political leader," Nagra said in the statement.
He further said Zoish has no control or oversight into the management and affairs of the eatery and her limited interaction at the facility was only while doing an internship program with the chef of Silly Souls Café.
"Our client is neither an owner nor an operator of the restaurant called Silly Souls Goa. Furthermore, she has not received any show cause notice from any authority whatsoever as alleged," Nagra said.
Zoish is currently pursuing her prospects in higher education, and "does not work at the eatery and has no knowledge, much less any involvement, with the events that have purportedly transpired in relation to the said eatery" the statement read.
Nagra further said, "various ex facie erroneous, frivolous ,) and defamatory social media posts being made by various vested quarters trying to settle political scores with our client's mother." Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told reporters that there are serious charges of corruption against Irani's family and her daughter is allegedly running a restaurant in Goa, in which a bar is functioning on a "fake licence".
"The licence by Smriti Irani's daughter is in the name of a person who died in May 2021, and the licence was taken in June 2022 in Goa. But the person in whose name the licence is, had died 13 months ago. This is illegal," he said.
Smriti Irani's daughter gets notice for running illegal bar
The statement comes a day after Goa’s excise commissioner, Narayan M. Gad, issued a show-cause notice to Silly Souls Cafe and Bar allegedly run by Zoish based on a complaint filed by lawyer and activist, Aires Rodrigues. He said that the documents produced to acquire the liquor license were 'fraudulent and fabricated'.
Noting that it is a "very serious issue", the Congress also shared a copy of the show cause notice given to the bar, and said the excise official who gave the notice is reportedly being transferred after pressure from authorities.