|Indian Police Service officer|
|Born 19 January 1957|
|Service branch||Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad|
|Rank||Joint Commissioner of Police (ATS Chief)|
|Awards||President's police medal for distinguish service|
He belongs to the 1981 batch of the Indian Police Service. His first posting was as assistant superintendent of police in Akola, and then Buldhana, in the interiors of Maharashtra. He came to Mumbai in 1986. He was the Deputy Commissioner Police (Traffic) in 1993.
Anti terror work
Maria cracked the 2003 Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar twin blasts case, arresting six persons, including a couple for planting the explosive devices inside taxis. The investigation was proved successful when the arrestees Ashrat Ansari, Haneef Sayyed and his wife Fahmeeda were convicted and sentenced to death in August, 2009 by a special POTA court in Mumbai. Later, the death sentence was upheld by Bombay High Court in February 2012.
Maria was given the responsibility of investigating the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. He interrogated Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist captured alive, and successfully investigated the case. Kasab was executed by hanging in 2012. 
He is married to Preeti Maria and the couple have two sons, Kunal and Krish. Maria hails from a film family which owns their own production house Kala Niketan.
On third degree interrogation
In an interview to an Indian magazine Verve, he clarified on misconception about use of third degree interrogation by saying, "Thanks largely to what the film industry portrays, everyone thinks that third degree is the only way interrogations take place. This is absolutely off the mark. Just beating and torture does not get you answers or answers that will stand up. The terrorist today is completely indoctrinated. One needs to understand his or her psychology, break his or her mind to get information from him or her. Apart from this there are lawyers, courts, NGOs and strict laws in place. So, the general perception that a criminal breaks down after a beating, is not true. We use a lot of mental games when we interrogate the accused. I often step in and do it myself. Ajmal Kasab was interrogated by me for the first time on the 27th at around four or five a.m.”
In popular culture
- "Rakesh Maria is new Joint CP (Crime)". Indian Express. Express Group. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
- "Rakesh Maria: terror buster No 1". Sakaal Times. March 25, 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- "Taxi driver helped in cracking 2003 blast case: Maria". Zee News. August 6, 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- "HC upholds death for LeT men in twin blasts case". 10 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Death sentence upheld in Mumbai blasts case". 10 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Saluting a braveheart, the man who helped capture Qasab".
- "Ajmal Kasab hanged". The Hindu. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "The Passion of Rakesh Maria". Verve Magazine. Volume 18, Issue 6, June, 2010. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Gupta, Pratim D. (January 26, 2005). "Escapist cinema will always be there". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-12-06.