The sprawling bungalow of Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha was auctioned here on Wednesday for Rs. 372 crore, fetching Rs. 115 crore more than the reserve price of Rs. 257 crore.
The auction of Dr. Bhabha’s sprawling bungalow took place despite many appeals and a petition.
The sprawling bungalow, Mehrangir, belonging to the father of India’s atomic energy programme, is located in posh Malabar Hill in south Mumbai.
The highest bidder, whose identity was not disclosed at his request, landed the sprawling property at plush Malabar Hill which went under the hammer at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), its custodian.
“As per the request of the winning bidder, the identity will not be disclosed at this stage,” NCPA said in a release.
The bungalow, having a built-up area of 13,953 square feet, lies on a plot measuring 17,150 square feet.
The three-storey bungalow offers a beautiful view of the sea.
After Bhabha’s death in a plane crash 1966, his brother Jamshed, a patron of art and culture, became the custodian of the estate.
On Jamshed’s death in 2007, the property was transferred to NCPA, an institution he had nurtured.
Earlier this week, the Bombay High Court had declined to stay the auction of the heritage bungalow.
Two employees of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) had moved the Bombay High Court seeking to stop the auction of the bungalow.
The petition was mentioned before the bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sonak which posted the hearing for June 23 but refused to grant a stay on the auction.
The employees had even approached Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of the Tata group, to save the landmark three-storey bungalow from going under the hammer.
Ratan Tata, replying to an e-mail appeal by the Atomic Energy Workers’ and Staff Union of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, wrote that while he would like the house to be preserved as a museum, he had no way to assist them, a newspaper reported.
In a bid to save the heritage bungalow, Bharat Ratna Professor CNR Rao had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to stop the auction of the house of the father of the Indian nuclear programme.
An online campaign was also designed to garner public support and prevent the auction.