|38th Police Commissioner of Mumbai|
15 February 2014 – 08 September 2015
|Preceded by||Satyapal Singh|
|Succeeded by||Ahmed Javed|
|Born||19 January 1957|
|Children||Kunal MariaKrish Maria|
|Alma mater||St. Andrew's High School, Mumbai|
St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
|Awards|| President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service.|
Police Medal for Meritorious Service.
50th Anniversary Independence Medal.
|Service years||Maharashtra Police|
|Rank|| Director General Home Guards |
Commissioner of Mumbai Police
Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai Police
Maharashtra ATS Chief
Additional Director General of Police
Assistant Superintendent of Police
Early life and education
Rakesh Maria was born in Punjabi family to Vijay Madia (the surname got distorted to Maria) who resided in Bandra, Mumbai. His father a well-known name in film circles was founder of Kala Niketan, a banner under which he made films such as Kaajal, Preetam, Neel Kamal, among others as a top Bollywood financier and producer. He completed his graduation from St. Xavier’s College Mumbai. He chose to make the career as an IPS officer, cracking the UPSC(Union public service commission) exams to get an IPS cadre. Incidentally, as was told by him in an interview, Retd. Air Chief Marshall Pratap Chandra Lal was on his interview panel for IPS. He recalled therein the Khalistan movement and the 1993 Bombay bombings.
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. He was appointed the Commissioner of Mumbai Police on 15 February 2014. He retired on 31 January 2017, after putting in 36 years of distinguished service
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 and the couple have two sons, Kunal and Krish. Maria hails from a film family which owns their own production house Kala Niketan. Maria had also represented his state Maharashtra in Karate at the National Games in 1979. Rakesh and Preeti were in St. Xavier’s together. He was a class ahead but they shared a common bond of love for sports; her strongest memories of him are from the basketball court training, playing matches, winning. 
Addl.CP Ashok Kamte's death
Vinita Kamte, the wife of slain IPS officer Ashok Kamte who was killed by terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, lashed out at Maria at his appointment as Mumbai Police Commissioner. She had earlier alleged discrepancies in crucial call records of wireless conversations between the Police Control Room and Ashok Kamte's van on the day of his death. Earlier in 2009 she had questioned Maria's claims that he did not direct Ashok Kamte to the Cama Hospital where he died. Rakesh Maria had been in charge of the police control room at the time of the carnage in November 2008.
Maria felt almost defenseless against such an emotional issue. Even Maharashtra Government was initially reluctant to defend Maria, an officer with a formidable reputation, not wanting to hurt the sentiments of a martyr’s wife. He just said that the facts would absolve him.
“You don’t defend him and you don’t let him defend himself!” commented a Mumbai Crime Branch senior.
Maria even got ready his resignation letter in disgust.
Thrice he appeared before and had replied to all these allegations in detail before the Pradhan Committee.
He was confident of his facts and told that Vinita Kamte had been selective in quoting.
Mumbai Police Officers later told that Vinita Kamte most possibly expressed her emotional outbursts and anger by writing the book. She might have got solace by attacking Maria, but it had also damaged the police force. The highly sensitive Police Control Room logbook came in public purview, just because of an RTI.
According to records, more forces were sent to the Cama Hospital than the Taj Mahal hotel or Chabad House. Even Vinita had accepted the fact: “I am not denying that forces were sent. If they sent 200 people, where were they?”
The additional forces were actually ordered to go to the Cama Hospital by Maria. According to police records around 150 policemen should have been there before 11.50 pm. Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar were killed around 12.07 am. But again it was not a normal situation. Why police arrived late must have an explanation not related to Maria.
The Ram Pradhan Committee was too critical on the role of the then Mumbai Commissioner of Police Hasan Gafoor and said that he had flouted the Standard Operating Practice by saddling Joint Commissioner Rakesh Maria with the charge of the Police Control Room.
On third degree interrogation
In an interview to 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
- In the film Black Friday, actor Kay Kay Menon played the role of Maria. In the film's timeline (after 1993 Bomb Blasts), Rakesh Maria was the Deputy Commissioner of Police, and in charge of the investigation.
- The character Ajay Lal in Suketu Mehta's nonfiction work Maximum City is based on Maria.
- Nana Patekar played the role of Maria in Ram Gopal Varma film The Attacks of 26/11. In this film, Maria was portrayed as a Senior officer during 2008 Mumbai attacks.
- In the movie, A Wednesday!, directed by Neeraj Pandey. Anupam Kher's character was inspired by Maria.
- "Ahmed Javed takes over as new Mumbai CP; Rakesh Maria promoted as DG of Home Guards". dnaindia.com. Daily News & Analysis. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- "Senior IPS Rakesh Maria is the new Mumbai Police Commissioner". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- "Sharp, Subtle, Savvy, Suave". uppercrustindia.com. webroute-solutions. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Rakesh Maria: Chasing Terrorists And Listening Ghazals ,Qawwalis". bhindibazaar.asia. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- Rakesh Maria had charge of the control room on 26/11 
- "Rakesh Maria is new Joint CP (Crime)". Indian Express. Express Group. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
- "Rakesh Maria: terror buster No 1". Sakaal Times. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- "Taxi driver helped in cracking 2003 blast case: Maria". Zee News. 6 August 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. 18 (6). June 2010. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Gupta, Pratim D. (26 January 2005). "Escapist cinema will always be there". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 December 2008.