ASI submitted its report on the Gyanvapi Masjid Survey to the Varanasi District Court today.
The ASI had begun the scientific survey following the Allahabad High Court approval in August 2023. The survey aims to determine whether the 17th century Gyanvapi Masjid was built over a pre-existing Hindu temple structure. The ASI team had deposited over 270 pieces of stone found in the digging and scientific study. The final report that has been delayed multiple times, was to be last submitted on 11 December and on another application by ASI, the court allowed another one weeks time for submitting the final report and Judge AK Vishvesh fixed 18 December as the next date of hearing.
Earlier, the Varanasi Court had initially instructed the ASI to submit their survey report on 6 October. However, on 4 October the Archaeological Survey of India submitted and application on 4 October, asking for a 4 week extension to the submission deadline. The Counsel for ASI mentioned that the a lot of debris collection has led to some more investigation. In all the Court had granted 6 extensions to the ASI for submitting the survey report.
"The report in sealed cover was placed before the court by the ASI's standing counsel Amit Srivastava" - Advocate Madan Mohan Yadav, representing the petitioners.
The survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid, located opposite the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, began on 4 August after the Allahabad High Court's approval and many part of the masjid, except the area where devotees perform the ritual ablution were a part of the survey. The survey was completed on 3 November and the report was supposed to be submitted on 17 November.