Supreme Court in the Classroom: Worksheet 1

A worksheet for students to engage with the Supreme Court judgment in the Sabarimala case

Worksheet 1: Sabarimala Temple Entry

On September 28th 2018, the Supreme Court held that the Sabarimala Temple’s custom of prohibiting women in their ‘menstruating years’ from entering was unconstitutional. In a 4:1 majority verdict, the Court held that the custom violated female worshippers’ fundamental rights to equality, liberty and freedom of religion. It struck down the Kerala State rule which protected the custom, Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Place of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965.

In this worksheet, students must analyze the fundamental rights to freedom of religion and equality in the context of the Sabarimala Temple Entry case. They must identify the central arguments of both the petitioners and the respondents. Further, they must understand what the judges ruled on the key issue and the reasoning it provided.

Ideally, students should complete this worksheet in a classroom setting. Teachers should introduce the worksheet by first introducing the larger societal issue, which led to a case being filed before the Supreme Court. After answering each question, the class should engage in a critical discussion, which will give students the opportunity to both clarify any doubts they might have and, futher, voice their own opinions.

The worksheet is designed for undergraduate students of law, political science or related fields.