The Centre has drawn flak from the public health community over the transfer of the former Health Secretary, Keshav Desiraju, last week.

Medico Friend Circle, a national network of medical professionals and health activists, has demanded transparency in the government’s handling of sensitive matters having wide-ranging implications on public health policies.

The forum said it was deeply disturbed by the sudden transfer. “The claim that this is a routine transfer does not hold water given the recent events overseen by Mr. Desiraju for ensuring public and national health security interests are protected,” the forum said in a statement issued at its 40th annual meet here.

It alleged that clinical trial and stent manufacturer lobbies were keen to see Mr. Desiraju’s exit.

Sunil Kaul, convenor of the MFC, said the former Health Secretary stood for stronger regulation of clinical trials.

“Such upright stands appear to be the cause of his transfer. It is against the spirit of the Supreme Court directive for a fixed two-year term for bureaucrats. Transfer at this crucial juncture sends the wrong signal to the people who look up to the government for cleaning up the chaotic and venal situation in medical education and health care,” N. Sarojini, former MFC convenor, said.

Mr. Desiraju and his colleagues were working on the government’s plans for a total reform of the Medical Council of India.