C.V. Narasimhan

Indian Police Service (Retd.)

Biography Career Publications Extras    

C.V. Narasimhan's professional career started in 1945 with a brief stint in academics as a teacher of Mathematics at the university level in South India , and was later defined distinctly as a police officer at the commanding levels of the Indian police system for over 35 years.

     2.  He joined the Indian Police Service in 1948 as a direct recruit, through the first national competitive examination held after India became a sovereign nation in 1947 with a population of about 350 million.  He stood first in this entrance exam and also had the distinction of winning the President’s revolver prize for the ‘All round best cadet’ at the end of training in the National Police Academy at Mount Abu in 1949.

     3.  He functioned in senior posts in the police in the State of Tamil Nadu and also under the Govt of India, and rose in the hierarchy, pioneering several police measures to reshape the colonial police system to suit the needs of independent democratic republic of India.

     4. In the world of governance where personal ambitions, political favors and maneuvering often characterize the performance of many, C.V. Narasimhan stood out and stood tall as a beacon of highest personal integrity and professional commitment to the business of policing for India .  His unwavering dedication to the development of an effective police force at all levels – from the local village to the entire nation – won him many friends and admirers, both inside and outside the establishment, and from the media and public at large.

      5. The defining moments in his distinguished career were in 1974 when he was posted as Joint Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs, a prestigious post to which officers of the Indian Administrative Service alone had hitherto been posted,  in 1977 when he was posted as Director of CBI, the topmost police posting in the country and later  when he functioned as Member-Secretary of the National Police Commission (NPC) in the rank of Secretary to the Govt of India, and prepared eight monumental reports in 1979-1981 formulating fundamental reforms for the police to change over to the needs of a developing democracy.

      6. He was awarded the Indian Police Medal for meritorious service in 1964 and the President’s Medal for distinguished service in 1972. The Rotary Club of Madras Silver Beach  presented him with the ‘ For the sake of honour award ’ in 1998.

      7. Some notable achievements and events in C.V. Narasimhan’s 35 year service in the Indian police are mentioned below: 

  1.  1957 - The security scheme drawn up and implemented by him in Ramanathapuram area in Tamil Nadu for the national general elections was hailed as a ‘model’ and later adopted in other areas as well.
  2.  1965-66 - He organised a separate Crime Branch in each district within his jurisdiction exclusively to handle crime investigations to the satisfaction of the victims of crime.  This was an innovation at a time when most of the police personnel were drawn away by ‘public order’ work in the field.
  3.  1967 - In Trichy he introduced a new methodology for ascertaining an objective and critical assessment of police performance as viewed by the public.  This proved very helpful in improving police-public relationship.
  4.  1967-72 - While working at the CBI, he took a leading hand in evolving the technique of investigation for different types of white-collar crimes and methodologies for technical assistance to the investigating officers of the CBI.
  5.  1974 - The all-India Railway Strike that was organised in April 1974 by some trade union leaders posed serious problems of transport and communication that had to be tackled by severe measures under the Defence of India Act, all over India.  They had to be carefully planned, coordinated and got implemented by State agencies.  C.V. Narasimhan, as Joint Secretary to Government, personally handled this enormous work of coordination effectively to get over the strike and restore normalcy within a week.
  6.  1974 -  For the first time in the legislative history of the country Preventive Detention Act was resorted to in September 1974 in a country wide sweep to detain all top smugglers whose activities had posed danger to the economic stability of the country.  Here again, C.V. Narasimhan bore the brunt of responsibility for initiating the special legislation on an emergency footing with due secrecy of operations which proved a big success. 
  7.  1975 - When a nation wide state of emergency was proclaimed by the President in June 1975 in the then existing political situation, C.V. Narasimhan had to handle the enormous load of coordinating and directing field operations for maintenance of public order, essential services and supplies in all the States.  He did this remarkably well, which earned him high praise from the government.
  8. 1977 - He led the Indian delegation to Interpol conference at Stockholm and chaired a crucial session where he succeeded in evolving a consensus on a smooth procedure for international co-operation in the investigation of economic crimes.
  9.  He handled with great integrity and professional efficiency the high profile criminal cases against Indira Gandhi after her electoral defeat and ouster from Prime Minister’s post.  The investigations done under his directions stood the scrutiny by courts.
  10.  Compilation of eight comprehensive reports of the NPC in 1979-81 projecting fundamental police reforms, principally to insulate the police system from political interference and make it professionally efficient and people oriented.  Though the political leaders were reluctant to implement these far-reaching reforms which would deny them the extraneous control over the police, the Supreme Court of India delivered a historic judgement in September 2006 directing expeditious implementation of NPC recommendations.  C.V. Narasimhan’s professional mission was thus vindicated at the highest judicial forum.
  11.   1983 - On the eve of his retirement from service he compiled a comprehensive Vigilance Manual for the guidance of investigating officers of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption in Tamil Nadu.  It was the first Manual of its kind in the State and even today continues to be used as a highly valuable guide by the field officers.
  12. He generated interest at the National Police Academy and among police researchers to make studies for evolving objective norms to evaluate police performance at the ground level as actually perceived and experienced by the public, distinct from a self-assessed statistical presentation from the commanding levels.

C.V. Narasimhan’s career postings (in reverse chronological order):

1980-1983       Director General of Police (DGP), Tamil Nadu (Vigilance & Anti-Corruption)

1977-1980       Member Secretary, National Police Commission, New Delhi

1977                Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi

1976-1977       Director, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, Tamil Nadu

1974-1976       Joint Secretary to Govt of India , Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi

1973-1974       Deputy Director, Vigilance & Anti-Corruption, Tamil Nadu

1967-1973       Deputy Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi

1964-1967       Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

1963-1964       Superintendent of Police, Ramanathapuram & Salem

1957-1963       Superintendent of Police, CBI at Chennai

1953-1957       Superintendent of Police, Kurnool , Bellary & Salem

1948-1953       Asst.Superintendent of Police, Mount Abu, Kakinada , Narasapatnam, Namakkal, and Mangalore.

C.V. Narasimhan's post-career activities of significant contributions:

  ( i ) Compilation of a ‘Hand book of Law for police officers’ in 1991 which was issued as a Central government publication as a reference book for all police stations in India .

  ( ii ) As a member of Justice Ramanujam Committee in Tamil Nadu in 1996-1997 formulation of several substantial measures for administrative reforms and prevention of corruption.

  ( iii ) Served as a member of Justice Sadashiva Panel of inquiry in 1999-2003 which examined serious allegations of police excesses and high-handed behaviour in some remote villages under the guise of anti-terrorist operations on Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border.  His meticulous and painstaking analysis of the documented ‘evidence’ of police encounters exposed the excesses and secured a record payment of compensation of about Rs 5 crore to the victims, from the two State governments.

   ( iv ) Functioned as an active Trustee of the Citizen Consumer & Civic Action Group in Chennai for 18 years from 1987 and effectively dealt with several matters concerning consumer protection.

   ( v ) Honorary work in the field of education, organising training programmes for school teachers and personality development camps for school children. From 1991 he has been functioning as Chairman of two reputed educational charities in Chennai running 24 schools in and around the city, providing first class education to children from low-income families.