Date of the Judgement: 27th April 2021
Appellant: Patan Jamal Vali
Respondent: The State of Andhra Pradesh
Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah
Important Section: Indian Penal Code, 1860 Section- 376 & SC ST Act 1989 Section 3(2)(v)
For women all over the world, the danger of violence is constant and is frequently associated with helplessness and an inability to exert control. While rape traumatizes women from all social, economic, and political backgrounds, some women are more resilient than others. More vulnerable to trauma in circumstances like this when there may be overlapping problems than others.
This appeal is in response to a Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court ruling on August 3, 2019. The High Court upheld the complainant’s conviction on charges covered by Section 3(2) (v) of the Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1981 and Section 376 (1) of the Indian Penal Code. The petitioner has entered a life judgment in jail for each of the aforementioned crimes, with substantial sentences to run coincidently. The petitioner has also been ordered to pay damages of Rs. 1,000 for each of the offenses, with a possible jail term of six months if he does not.
Prior to the occurrence, the appellant had been working manually for two years while living in the village of Gajulapalli. PW2 used to live with her mother (PW1) and brother (PW3) despite being blind since birth. The sons of PW1 are LW5 and PW3. At the same location as the appellant, they were both working manually. The prosecution claims that the appellant lived in the same village and regularly visited PW1’s home due to his acquaintance with her sons.
On March 31, 2011, at around 9 in the morning, PW1 was taking care of domestic duties at a nearby public water fountain with her sons were nearby, cutting firewood. It is claimed that the appellant queried PW1 about her sons when she and her husband were reportedly cutting firewood, and PW1 told the appellant to wait while they finished. After 30 minutes, she heard her daughter (PW2) calling out for help. She hurried over to the home but discovered that the door was locked from the inside. Her husband and sons hurried to the house when she sounded the alarm. The appellant opened the door and made an attempt to run away, but he was caught right there.
PW1 entered the home and saw PW2 laying on the ground in a naked state while bleeding excessively from her genitalia. PW2’s clothing was ripped and covered with blood. When questioned, PW2 is said to have admitted that the appellant came to the residence and asked about her brothers; after locking the door, he allegedly fell on her, gagged her, and sexually assaulted her.
According to the prosecution’s evidence, PW9, a sub-inspector of police at the Mahanandi Police Station, hurried to the location of the incident at 10 am after receiving a call from PW4, PW1’s cousin. The locals handed the appellant over to the Circle Inspector of Police, Nandyal Rural Police Station, who had already arrived at that point. PW1 gave the police a written report, which was recorded as Crime No. 28/2011. PW10, the Civil Surgeon at the District Hospital, inspected the victim after PW11 had transported her to the Government Hospital. Medical testing confirmed PW2’s blindness. The verdict of the Sessions Judge and the High Court has used the medical report of PW2’s examination as its source.
(1) Rough cut on the left cheek, measuring 1 cm by 1 cm, red in colour;
(2) development of pubic hair, breast development;
(3) development of axillary hair. On examination, the vagina is lacerated at 4-00 O’clock position, and bleeding is present. As part of her wound certificate, she issued Ex.P.6 and gave the final opinion under Ex.P.8 after receiving the report from A.P.F.S.L after taking 3 swabs and slides from the Hymeneal Orifice Vaginal canal and near the cervix, and she sutured the vaginal wall with ten Chromecast. According to her, the evidence suggests penetration of male genital parts.”
- Whether Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Section 3(2)(v), of 1989 will apply to this offense?
- Whether the appellant is guilty of the offense under section 376(1) of the Indian Penal Code?
In the case of Patan Jamal Vali vs. The State of Andhra Pradesh 2021,
The Appellant argued that a violation of this provision has not been proven due to the way the phrase “on the ground of that such person who is member of the Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe” should be interpreted in this Court in its decisions is given in Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes which elaborate about the (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, As a result, it was unlawful to impose a life sentence in connection with a violation of Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code 1860.
On the other hand, the Respondent argued that the accuser deserved to be punished appropriately in accordance with the applicable rules and sections since the evidence against him was conclusive and the nature of the case required it.
What involved law has been applied in this case?
- Section 3(2) (v) of the scheduled caste and the scheduled tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
- Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860
How law has been applied?
- The Appellant was also convicted under Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which deals with the offense of sexual assault or rape committed against a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. This law aims to prevent and protect marginalized communities from atrocities and provides for stringent punishments for offenses committed against them.
- The Appellant was convicted under Section 376(1) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with the offense of rape. This section provides for the punishment of imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years, which may extend to life imprisonment, also includes provisions for fines.
The Division Bench of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh upheld the appellant’s conviction for crimes punishable by Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and Section 376(1) of the IPC in Patan Jamal Vali v. The State of Andhra Pradesh. A life sentence was imposed on the appellant. In a Supreme Court appeal, it was asserted that the offense’s Section 3(2)(v) components had not been established. Before analyzing this motion, the Court made clear that it was without a doubt of the judgment that the violation of Section 376(1) had been shown beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case pertained to the rape of a visually challenged Dalit woman, and the conviction of the accused under Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and Section 376(1) of the Indian Penal Code.
The judgment is noteworthy for its emphasis on intersectionality, which recognizes the interconnectedness of discrimination based on multiple social identities such as caste, gender, and disability. The court recognized that the survivor’s identity as a Dalit and as a visually challenged person informed the nature of the offense and the vulnerability and marginalization experienced by her.
The judgment also made significant observations regarding judicial sensitivity towards sexual violence cases, highlighting the need for trauma-informed approaches, training for judges and court personnel, and the use of established legal frameworks to ensure the fair trial of survivors.
The judgment displays a conscious effort by the Supreme Court to ensure that the intersectional realities of sexual violence survivors are accounted for within the legal system and that justice is served appropriately.
The case of Patan Jamal Vali vs. The State of Andhra Pradesh is significant as it addresses the intersectionality of caste, gender, and disability in the context of sexual violence. The judgment recognizes the vulnerabilities faced by individuals from marginalized communities, specifically a visually challenged Dalit woman who was the survivor in this case. The court emphasizes the importance of understanding and considering the unique experiences and challenges faced by survivors belonging to multiple marginalized identities.
The judgment also highlights the need for a sensitive and trauma-informed approach when dealing with cases of sexual violence, particularly towards survivors who may face additional barriers and discrimination due to their caste or disability. The court emphasizes that it is crucial for judicial officers and court personnel to undergo training to ensure that survivors are provided with a fair and empathetic environment during the legal proceedings.
The court found that there is no proof that the victim was raped because she is a member of the SC community, and the defendant is guilty under section 376(1) of the IPC rather than section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989. As a result of the court’s thorough examination of intersectionality, it was acknowledged that it should not be interpreted narrowly and that it should consider social realities as well. Based on this, the Court declared that despite the fact that Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 does not require that the accused be found guilty, it has some bearing on the sentence and that it was a relevant basis for the Sessions Court to acquit and sentence the accused to life in prison.
Intersectional lens analysis of the case has broadened the court’s perspective. Moreover, through this lens, oppression can be viewed from different perspectives, with each disadvantage compounding the others. Given that the judges were sensitive to the victim’s socioeconomic vulnerabilities, the authors’ viewpoint is consistent with the ruling made by the bench. The court gave the prosecutor’s testimony serious consideration while also taking intersectionality into account. Her condition was not merely an “add-on” to the court’s awareness of the prosecutor’s predicament. Her physical and social circumstances made her vulnerable as a victim, so the court recognized that she was at more risk and more susceptible to oppression compared to people who shared just one or a few of the victim’s traits. In this case, the Supreme Court established a precedent for the country’s courts to examine oppression from a variety of perspectives, including the possibility that privileged individuals may be perpetrating atrocities against those who are more vulnerable on social and economic grounds. The condition of the victim enduring the harm must also be considered along with the connection between the accused and the injury suffered.
Name- Nishtha Shreshth
College- Galgotias University Greater Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
 Bare Act, the scheduled caste and the scheduled tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, sec 3, No.33, Act of Parliament 1989
 Bare Act, Indian penal code, sec 376(1), No.45, Act of Parliament 1860
 Bare Act, the scheduled caste and the scheduled tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, sec 3(2)(v), No.33, Act of Parliament 1989.
 Patan Jamal Vali v. The State of Andhra Pradesh, 2021 JC (SC) 2856.
 Bare Act, Indian penal code, sec 376, No.45, Act of Parliament 1860