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FROM IPS OFFICER TO DGP:  EXPLORING RASHMI SHUKLA’S CAREER MILESTONES

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Rashmi Shukla, a senior 1988-batch IPS officer from the Maharashtra Police, had been serving on central deputation as the head of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

During her tenure as Pune’s police commissioner, Shukla gained recognition for pioneering initiatives such as the ‘buddy cop’ program, which was widely adopted throughout the state. Her leadership also saw the implementation of various other impactful strategies aimed at enhancing community engagement and bolstering law enforcement efforts.

Rashmi Shukla, the most senior IPS officer in the state, is set to replace Mr. Rajnish Seth, also an IPS officer from the 1988 batch, who has been transferred to assume the role of Chairman of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC). Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis mentioned that the state government has forwarded a seniority-based list to the Union Home Ministry for consideration.

Ms. Shukla holds seniority, followed by Sandeep Bishnoi, Managing Director of the Maharashtra Police Housing and Welfare Corporation, and Vivek Phansalkar, Mumbai Police Commissioner, both belonging to the 1989 batch of IPS officers.

Ms. Shukla is slated to retire on June 30, 2024, while Mr. Bishnoi’s retirement is scheduled for March 31, 2024, and Mr. Phansalkar’s on March 31, 2025.

Her prominence rose in March 2022 due to allegations of phone tapping against Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and NCP’s Eknath Khadse in 2019, during her tenure as the head of Maharashtra’s Intelligence Department. FIRs were filed against her, one in Pune and another in Colaba, South Mumbai.

 Rashmi Shukla’s Controversial Transfers and Allegations

Amidst the transition to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in 2019, Rashmi Shukla faced transfers and controversies due to perceived affiliations with the prior BJP government. Initially, her shift from the crucial role of State Intelligence Commissioner (SID) to Civil Defence in 2020 was seen as a non-executive assignment. However, her subsequent move in February 2021 to the ADG position at the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) eventually led to her appointment as the head of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

During her tenure at SID, accusations emerged under the MVA government suggesting illegal interception of calls involving MVA leaders. Allegations also arose concerning the alleged leaking of data from the State Intelligence Department to Devendra Fadnavis, the Opposition leader. Shukla found herself named as the accused in two out of the three FIRs registered in connection with these incidents.

These developments created a storm of controversy around Shukla, linking her tenure and actions to political implications within Maharashtra’s shifting political landscape.

Rashmi Shukla’s Tenure as DGP: Duration and Extensions

Rashmi Shukla’s impending retirement in June 2024 poses a question regarding the length of her tenure as DGP. Initially, her tenure is anticipated to span six months. However, historical precedence in Maharashtra suggests the possibility of extensions, a practice seen in the case of previous DGPs.

The Maharashtra government’s discretion to grant extensions has been exercised previously. Yet, it’s noteworthy that while the Supreme Court’s Prakash Singh judgment advocates for a two-year tenure for DGPs to shield them from political influences, the Maharashtra Police Act outlines a two-year tenure exclusively for non-retiring officers.

This situation puts a spotlight on the complexities between statutory provisions and established judicial directives, shaping the potential duration of Rashmi Shukla’s tenure as the Director General of Police (DGP).

Rashmi Shukla: A Beacon of Inspiration for Youth”

Rashmi Shukla’s journey is a beacon of inspiration for the youth, showcasing the power of dedication, leadership, and perseverance in public service. Her remarkable achievements underscore the potential for making meaningful contributions to the country through hard work, commitment, and a focus on pioneering solutions within law enforcement. Shukla’s career stands as a compelling example, motivating aspiring individuals to strive for excellence and actively participate in the nation’s progress and betterment.

Rashmi Shukla’s career has been marked by a focus on implementing innovative policing strategies and initiatives, fostering improvements in law enforcement and community engagement. While specific details regarding individual cases she may have solved aren’t publicly available, her contributions likely spanned various domains, encompassing crime prevention and the resolution of intricate investigations throughout her tenure within the police department.

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