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Chhaya Sharma

Joint Commissioner of Police of Eastern Range, Delhi

Chhaya Sharma, an officer of the Indian Police Service, belonging to the AGMUT Cadre is currently serving as Joint Commissioner of Police of Eastern Range, Delhi and has previously served as Joint Commissioner of Police, Economic Offences Wing (EOW, Delhi. She has also served as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), India. Chhaya has been at the forefront of both detection and investigation of cases of crimes, law and order issues and protection of human rights during her career spanning 21 years in various places like Puducherry, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Delhi.

Chhaya’s work has consistently reflected her victim-centric approach through numerous investigations of a wide array of serious crimes, particularly with respect to women and children. Due to her leadership qualities and team building capabilities, she has tirelessly led her teams to annihilate organised crime during her various postings.

As DIG (Investigation) at NHRC, Chhaya had been instrumental in bringing the voices of the victims of human rights violations to the Commission through a small unit of effective officers which have led to rescue of labourers from bondage, suggest significant changes in prisons, effective checking of the excesses committed by the various authorities and securing adequate compensation for the voiceless victims. Chhaya had also been an active participant of the Core Group on issues of Human Trafficking, which advised the NHRC.

However, it was the investigation of the infamous Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case in December 2012, New Delhi that brought out her professional acumen and tested her un-daunting spirit and ability to lead. As head of Special Investigation Team, she closely supervised all aspects of investigation of this blind case. Chhaya not only stood as an unwavering shield for her team insulating them from mounting pressures, which led to quick apprehension of the perpetrators but also kept the focus on collection of scientific evidence and meticulous preparation of documentation and used odontology for analysis of bite marks, as evidence for the first time. The first charge-sheet filed in record 18 days which withstood various stages of judicial scrutiny resulting in conviction with maximum punishment.

Chhaya’s cases on trafficking have received a special Commendation from the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in 2001 and also find place in research done by the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi in 2005, which reflected her efforts in causing a paradigm shift in law enforcement in Human Trafficking of Women and Children in India. One of her cases also finds mention in UN-ODC’s “Compendium on Best Practices on Human Trafficking by Law Enforcement Agencies” in 2007. Her mission against trafficking continues in NHRC as well, wherein she had played a critical role in drafting Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines to Combat Trafficking of Persons in India in 2017.

Chhaya’s work, as a police officer, has received several appreciations and accolades. She is the proud recipient of two Special Duty Medals for her services in remote and insurgency affected areas in the northeast of India in 2004 and 2015 and has also been awarded the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 2015. In addition to the above, she has also been awarded the McCain Institute of International Leadership’s award for Leadership and Courage for the year 2019. More recently, she also received the Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation by the Government of India. She was also awarded the ASIA Gamechanger Award 2019 in New York by the Asia Society.

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