Sreelekha was born on 25 December 1960, the daughter of Prof. N. Velayudhan Nair and B. Radhamma. She is married to Dr. Sethunath, Prof. Paediatric Surgery, Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram and has 1 son, Gokul, who is an MBA student.
Sreelekha completed her schooling from Cotton Hill Girls School, Thiruvananthapuram where she was involved in various activities like music, drama, NCC and NSS. She then went on to complete her bachelor's degree in English Literature at the Women's College in Thiruvananthapuram. She then did her Masters at the University Institute of English in the Kerala University Campus. In 2005, she obtained an MBA in Human Resource Management from IGNOU. She was awarded the prestigious Chevening Fellowship by the Government of United Kingdom and she undertook the fellowship studies in King's College, London, Science Po, Paris, Edinburgh University, United Nations offices in Geneva and Oxford from September to December 2015. She also attended the Mid- Career Training Program at London Business School in 2013.
Prior to joining the Police service, Sreelekha, worked as a lecturer at the Vidhyadhi Raja College. She also worked for the Reserve Bank of India, as a Grade B Officer and was posted as a Statistical Officer in Mumbai. In January 1987, at the age of 26, Sreelekha became the first woman IPS officer in Kerala.
After joining the Police service, she has served as District Superintendent of Police in 3 districts, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur. Sreelekha also worked with the Central Bureau of Investigation for 4 years as SP in Kerala and DIG in New Delhi. She was promoted to Deputy Inspector General of the Ernakulam Range. In 2005, Sreelekha was posted as the managing director of Kerala State Cooperative Rubber Marketing Federation. In June 2007, she was posted as the managing director of the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala. Later on, she also served as the Inspector General, Crime Branch. She also served as Addl. DGP, Armed Police Battalions with additional charge for Training. From her posting as ADGP Vigilance, on 15 February 2014, she has been posted as ADGP (police home guards, community policing, gender justice and nodal officer for Nirbhaya). She was the Organising Secretary of the 5th National Conference of Women in Police, organised by the Bureau of Police Research & Development in July 2012, and is also a strong advocate of gender parity in the Kerala Police force. As ADGP, Sreelekha was asked by Kerala Home Minister, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan to conduct an inquiry into the involvement of Kerala Information Commissioner K.Natarajan, who had allegedly persuaded a Dy.S.P of Police to leave out the name of V S Achuthanandan from the list of accused in a land scam case. After completion of investigations, Sreelekha recommended the suspension of the Information Commissioner, upon finding that the official had misused his office. R. Sreelekha as ADGP Vigilance & anti-corruption Bureau, chargesheeted the Disproportionate Asset case against I.G. Tomin J Thachankary, accused also in several other cases. As retaliation, Thachankary accused Sreelekha for violating norms in visiting Thailand prior to Government Permission. Sreelekha sought permission from the government to file a defamation suit against Tomin J. Thachankary, and obtained the same. as the Transport Commissioner in Kerala, she reduced the road accidents and fatalities substantially through inclusive road safety measures and in 2014, there were 292 less fatalities in Kerala against the statistics in 2013, which was a record achievement in India. The revenue from taxes and penalties reached an all time high of Rs 3000 crore during her tenure. Motor Vehicle Department became successful in e-governance, Vahan-Sarathy was completed and an android app called 'Smart trace' was made to detect vehicle duplications and digital record of around 98 lakh vehicles in the state. She also conducted Asia's first ever Road Hackathon with assistance from the World Bank, at Technopark where over 300 participants showcased their technological innovations to better road safety in the State. For detecting Praveen Murder case in Kottayam and arresting DySP Shaji and also for getting lifetime imprisonment for him and his accomplices within 90 days of chargesheeting the case, she was awarded the Government's Meritorious Service Award. She was the officer investigating the Kiliroor sex scandal case, and reported to the CBI court that there was no VIP involved. Thomas Chandy, an MLA and K.P. Mohanan was accused of being linked to the case. However, Sreelekha's deposition to the court was on the basis of the statement from the victim which absolved the two. R.Sreelekha investigated the irregularities in Consumerfed in procuring rice above the market price and for irregularities found in various godowns in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram She was the Transport Commissioner of Kerala from July 2013 to September 2015, during which time, road accidents and fatalities were at an all time low. Asia's first ever road safety Hackathon conducted by her with assistance from World Bank at Technopark Trivandrum was a huge success. As ADGP Crime Records Bureau, she completed the Crime & Criminal Tracking networking system and started an interactive website "THUNA" (The Hand U Need for Assistance) fot a public interface with police. As Additional DGP, Intelligence, Kerala from June 2016 to January 2017, her proposal to start a counseling centre HATS (Help and Assistance to Tackle Stress) for police officers who are suffering from mental stress, to help those who have personal problems such as addiction, issues with senior officers, family problems, financial problems, suicide tendencies etc has been approved by the Department. At present she works as the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services in Kerala.
Sreelekha was selected for the prestigious Chevening Fellowship by the Government of United Kingdom and she attended the fellowship in London at King's College from September to December 2015. She also attended specialised training at Scotland Yard/metropolitan police of UK. In 2004, as DIG Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, Sreelekha was awarded the President's Police Medal for Meritorious Service. In 2013, as ADGP Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, Sreelekha was awarded the President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service. In 2006, during her stint as managing director, the Rubber Board won the Thailand Government's Best Exporter of Rubber in Asia award. She won the Indian Overseas Award for Public Service in 2006. FOKANA award for literary contributions was given to her in 2005. She received the Kerala Government's Meritorios Services Award for detecting a sensational murder case in 2007.
Sreelekha has penned and published 9 books.Cheru marmarangal (2005)
Maranna Doothan (2008)
Lottos Theenikal (2009)
Mansile Mazhavillu (2011)
Niyama samrakshanam Streekalkku- a book on legal awareness
Kuttikalum Policum- a book for the children about Police and their activities
Jaagarookan (2013)- Detective novel Publisher DC Books