There is no evidence connecting the surface Kasauti pillars to the underlying pillar bases discovered by ASI during an excavation beneath the mosque.
In the Times of India report, Muhammed said the initial excavation began with surface research to examine what was left on the exterior, as is customary. In 1976, the mosque was under police control, and no ordinary tourists were allowed inside. Inside, only members of the excavation crew were permitted. When the team entered the mosque, Muhammad claimed to have noticed 12 mosque pillars rebuilt from ''temple remains.''
Along with the pillars, he claims to have discovered a Purna Kalasha structure formed like a Ghada (water pitcher) that is part of Hinduism's Asht-Mangala Chinha and may be found on the foundations of temples from the 12th and 13th centuries.
After the first excavation, it was claimed that 12 temple pillars from beneath were reused in the mosque's construction. During the second excavation, several pillar bases were also uncovered, states Muhammad. The second excavation was undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) in 2003, following the Allahabad High Court's Lucknow bench order, but the mosque had been demolished by that time.
On August 22, 2003, ASI released their findings after excavating on the orders of the Allahabad High Court to ensure fairness and transparency. On the other hand, the five-judge bench deemed the ASI's report to be of little use in resolving the disagreement between the contending parties.
The ASI report was primarily utilized by Hindu lawyers to prove their claim to the 2.77 acres of land and to argue that a temple was demolished to make way for the mosque. Muslims questioned the ASI's allegation that a 12th-century Hindu temple stood on the disputed land. According to the Muslim side, structures discovered during the excavation belonged to an 'Idgah' or a 'Kanati Masjid,' reports Hindustan Times.
The ASI report was unclear on whether a temple was demolished to make space for the mosque. The investigation revealed that the mosque was built on the foundation and materials of an underlying structure assumed non-Islamic.
In law, one cannot use ASI's archaeological finds to support a title determination, said the Supreme Court. The court held that title to the land must be determined using well-established legal principles and the same evidentiary standards as a civil trial. The pillars utilized in the mosque's construction were black Kasauti stone pillars, concluded ASI.
However, the Supreme Court concluded that ASI found no evidence that the surface black Kasauti pillars are related to the underlying pillar bases unearthed during an excavation in the building beneath the mosque. The court also rejected the argument that concluding on ASI's data would be hypothetical and theoretical. It stated that forming inferences from evidence is an essential part of archaeology as a study.