Smriti Irani and her family have made repeatedly made assertions in public domain regarding their relationship with the bar in Goa and they cannot turn around when someone else relies on those very assertions to ask legitimate questions of them, Congress leaders Pawan Khera, Jairam Ramesh and Netta D'Souza told the Delhi High Court..There are at least three documented instances of such claims and endorsements which are conspicuously absent from the plaintiff’s (Irani) submissions, the three leaders said in their reply filed through advocate Sunil They further said that Smriti Irani cannot evade or escape questions and cannot claim a blanket immunity regarding probity in her personal dealings..The three opposition leaders filed their written statements in response to the union minister’s defamation suit against them for the allegations they made against Irani and her daughter in relation to a bar in Gao.The Court was told that its order to remove social media posts against Smriti Irani and daughter was obtained on the basis of “suppressions and egregious misrepresentations”. It was stated that following Irani’s Lok Sabha affidavit of 2019 and documents obtained from public filing with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, it is clear that there is a clear and warranted basis to the questions asked by the Congress leaders..“To put it plainly, when the Plaintiff (Irani) and her family have made repeated assertions in the public domain regarding their relationship with the enterprise in question then they cannot turn around when someone else relies on those very assertions to ask legitimate questions of them. There are at least three documented instances of such claims and endorsements which are conspicuously absent from the Plaintiff’s submissions,” the reply said. .Khera and others further argued that they are not only entitled but duty bound to raise issues of public importance regardless of the office held by the individual from whom answers are sought.They added that the questions raised by them arise ‘naturally’ from the declarations and endorsements made by Irani and her family and the language used by them is clearly in the realm of ‘fair comment’.“It must also be pointed out that till date, the Plaintiff has refused to offer clarifications or answer these questions. To say that only investigative authorities can ask such questions would represent a complete erosion of transparency, a fact which the Plaintiff will agree with given her history of raising such issues as well. Furthermore, deflections, ambiguous statements, denial of self- made statements and ascribing of motives to those who ask such questions does not constitute an answer nor do they exonerate a public figure from scrutiny.”.The Delhi High Court had on July 29 ordered Ramesh, Khera and D'Souza to remove defamatory material on social media against Union Minister Smriti Irani and her daughter Zoish Irani in relation to the recent controversy surrounding the latter's restaurant and bar in Goa.Justice Mini Pushkarna had also held that there are no documents on record to show that either the minister or her daughter were ever issued any license for the restaurant, Silly Souls Café and Bar in Goa or that they even applied for it. The Court further said that it has been established that they are not the owners of the restaurant and bar which has been in the eye of the storm after the opposition alleged there are illegalities in the Bar license of the restaurant.