(This story was updated to include IPS officer D Roopa's comments)
D Roopa, an IPS officer from Karnataka, refused to accept an award by Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), or even take part in the nomination process, as she is a serving government official.
But the foundation, which is funded by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Rajeev Chandrashekar who was recently elected to the Rajya Sabha, is giving it a different spin.
The IPS officer made headlines after she exposed the special privileges that All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader VK Sasikala enjoyed in prison. She is currently serving as the Inspector General of Police (Home Guard and Civil Defence, Bengaluru).
The top cop had recused herself from the award titled the 'Government official of the year", an award where seven other nominees were also shortlisted.
Roopa told International Business Times India that she made the decision to stay out of the award process a day after Chandrashekar was elected to the Rajya Sabha. "My decision comes after this event, and on the very next day after Hon'ble MP R. Chandrashekar was elected I had written a letter to them declining the award," she said.
News agency PTI had quoted her as saying in her letter: "Every government servant is expected to maintain neutrality and equidistance from all quasi-political bodies and associations that have even the bare minimum political overtone. Only then a public servant can maintain a clean and fair image in the eyes of the public."
"It becomes all the more relevant now in the view of the ensuing elections," she added in reference to the upcoming elections in Karnataka.
Namma Bengaluru Award may be good for NGO/citizen groups but not for government servants. Rules do not permit; especially when an organisation has a conflict of interest, NBF having dragged Govt to Court on several matters like Steel Flyover, lake encroachment, sewage into lakes. pic.twitter.com/UfAnrIcvCZ— D Roopa IPS (@D_Roopa_IPS) March 27, 2018
However, the NBF hit back at the IPS officer and claimed that Roopa had lobbied for the award. The organization issued a statement that read: "There were multiple communications by this nominee to lobby to the jury, NBF team and the trustees. This person had engaged with jury extensively and did not mention a word of these newly discovered 'views' at any stage of her interaction," the New Indian Express reported.
The NBF also claimed that when Roopa was told that she was not winning the award, she eventually decided to write the letter to the organization, according to the NIE report.
D Roopa refuted the NBF's version to International Business Times India.
"When the list of nominees was put up on the website of the NBF, they did not list my part as a whistleblower in exposing the privileges being given to Sasikala," she told IBT India.
She further added, "They have missed out a major point of my contribution last year. I took so much risk and brought out the violations, they have not mentioned that and have not considered it. So reiterating that part to the jury doesn't become lobbying. Anyways, even after listing my contributions, given the fact that the scenario changed on 22nd March, there was no question of accepting it."
Here is the full text of her rebuttal: