Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has responded to the notice sent by the Maharashtra State Board of Wakfs in connection to the 4,532-sqm Altamount Road property on which he is building his 27-storey mansion, and has asked for a hearing.
Sources in the board confirmed that the reply was received on Tuesday. However, Chief Executive Officer of the board AR Sheikh refused to comment when contacted. “This is a quasi-judicial process and I cannot say anything on it,” he said. The hearing with Antilia is likely to be held next month.
The board had sent a notice to Antilia Commercial Private Limited, a company promoted by Ambani, asking the company to explain why the board should not take back the land, which was sold to Antilia by Currimbhoy Ebrahim Khoja Orphanage. The board, which believes it is a wakf property that was sold illegally in 2002, had sent the notice earlier this month.
The board also received a response from the trustees of the orphanage saying that the deal was executed with the board’s permission and have asked for time to explain their side.
Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced in the state Legislative Council last week that a judicial commission would be set up to probe all wakf deals across the state. He had also said that cases in which criminal proceedings had been initiated would be investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department.