Smriti Irani, daughter not owners of Goa restaurant and bar: Delhi HC order

Hearing a two-crore civil defamation suit filed by Irani against Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera, Netta D'Souza, the HC said the three Congressmen have conspired to "launch a tirade of false scathing and belligerent personal attacks" on Irani and her daughter

Smriti Irani bar
The Delhi high court said that Irani had made out a prima facie case and balance of convenience lies in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendants. Pic: PTI

Calling the claims made by Congress leaders as “slander” and made with “malicious intent”, the Delhi high court has stated in its order that on prima facie evidence, Union minister Smriti Irani and her daughter are not the owners of the Goa restaurant and bar.

Hearing a two-crore civil defamation suit filed by BJP leader Irani against the Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera, Netta D’Souza, the Delhi HC said that the three Congressmen along with others have conspired to “launch a tirade of false scathing and belligerent personal attacks” on Irani and her daughter.

Also read: Congress charges at Smriti Irani over daughter’s Goa bar licence row

According to the court, after considering the documents on record it is clearly seen there was no license ever issued in favour of the plaintiff or her daughter.

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“The plaintiff or her daughter are not the owners of the restaurant. It has also been established by the plaintiff prima facie that the plaintiff or her daughter never applied for license,” the court said.

The Congress leaders on July 23 had demanded Irani’s sacking, alleging her daughter was running an illegal bar in Goa, but the Union minister of women and child development had claimed the “malicious” charge was made at the behest of the Gandhi family due to her vocal stand in the National Herald linked money laundering case and had vowed to fight back.

Also read: Goa restaurant case: Portuguese Civil code cited in defence by owners

Further, the high court held that the statements made by the Congress leaders are in the “nature of slander and seem to be bogus with malicious intent, only to garner the highest amount of viewership thereby intentionally subjecting the plaintiff to a great public ridicule”.

According to the court, Irani had made out a prima facie case and balance of convenience lies in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendants. Also, the high court warned the Congress leaders to remove their tweets or else Twitter would have to do it.

Also read: Apologise: Smriti Irani sends legal notice to Congress leaders

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