The Varanasi district court on Wednesday allowed copies of the Archaeological Survey of India’s survey report in the Gyanvapi mosque complex to be made available to the litigants in the case, reported Live Law.

The Archaeological Survey of India had submitted the report to the court on December 18. The district court had ordered the survey on July 21 in response to a petition by a group of Hindu litigants seeking the right to hold prayers inside the mosque compound.

The survey was conducted to find out whether the mosque was built over a Hindu temple after an oval-shaped object was found on its premises in May 2022.

The Hindu litigants claimed that the object was a shivling, a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva. However, the caretaker committee of the mosque claimed the object was a defunct fountainhead in the wazu khana, or ablution tank.

The Varanasi district court’s order came after the Allahabad High Court held in May that a scientific survey could be conducted of the oval-shaped object. On August 3, the Allahabad High Court, however, said that no excavation should be done as part of the survey and directed authorities to ensure that no damage is caused to the structure.

The High Court had dismissed a plea by the mosque committee against the survey, saying that it was “necessary in the interest of justice”. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court the next day.