Former bureaucrats write to PM on Health Secy`s transfer

Last Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 15:11

New Delhi: Former bureaucrats and eminent personalities have written to the Prime Minister protesting the transfer of Keshav Desiraju from the post of Union Health Secretary apparently after he opposed making Ketan Desai, who is facing graft charges, a member of Medical Council of India.

The letter, emailed to the Prime Minister last week, points to the unceremonious exit of Desiraju who was shunted out to Consumer Affairs Department as secretary, a relatively small department. It also questions the procedure adopted in transferring him.
"The way the transfer was done was not proper and we have said that you cannot sacrifice the rules and unceremoniously oust the health secretary for the sake of MCI and Ketan Desai," former health secretary Sujata Rao told PTI.

"To the best of my knowledge, the health secretary did not agree to the signing of the notification to make Ketan Desai a member of MCI," she said.
The signatories to the letter include Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy and industrialist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, seeking the Prime Minister`s intervention in the matter.

Ketan Desai, a former chairman of MCI, the medical education regulator of the country, was allegedly caught red handed taking bribe a couple of years back and was later arrested and jailed.

After his arrest, the elected MCI was dissolved and the board of governors was appointed for taking care of its functioning. In December last year, MCI once again became an elected body, where Desai was seeking to stage a comeback.

Desai, was nominated to be a member of the MCI by a Gujarat University, but it was not accepted by the Health ministry and his name was not notified.

Citing the Supreme Court ruling, former cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar claimed Desiraju`s transfer was "contempt of court".

"I am curious to know whether the civil services board has approved of it or not, whether they have recorded the reasons because it is prime facie contempt of court," he said.


First Published: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 15:11

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