The lavish skyscraper billed as the world’s tallest home could well come tumbling down for its owner Mukesh Ambani, after it was revealed that India’s anti-corruption watchdog may be about to investigate the 27 storey Antilla home.
Government chiefs in Maharasthra state have reportedly gone to the Home Department to seek advice on whether or not an investigation should be ordered, following allegations that the land the “Palace in the Sky” was built on may have been purchased illegally.
These latest rumours surrounding Ambani’s family home are just the latest in a series of bad press stories to besiege the building, following its construction in 2007. The 570-foot tall structure, built in one of the most upmarket areas of Mumbai, was criticized by many to be an insulting display of egotism and wealth in a country wracked by poverty, where more than half of the its 1.2 billion inhabitants struggle to get by on less than $1 a day.
Allegations of corruption surrounding Ambani’s home first erupted back in 2007, when it was discovered that an organization called the Wakf Board had broken the law when selling the plot of land to the billionaire.
The Wakf Board’s role is to manage Muslim-owned land and properties that have been donated for charitable causes, and in the case of Ambani’s plot, this fell under their jurisdiction as he purchased it from the Currimbhoy Ebrahim Kohja Orphange, a Muslim charity.
The deal, reported to be worth around $4.8 million to the orphanage, went ahead with the Wakf Board’s blessing, despite state regulations prohibiting it from selling any land that it manages.
Ambani has tried to distance himself from the affair, claiming it is a matter for the orphanage and the Wakf Board to settle, and that he is just an innocent party. But despite his putting on a brave face in public, insiders say that the billionaire could yet be forced to leave his property if the corruption allegations are proven to be true.