Denying that its website had been hacked, the union health ministry told the Supreme Court Thursday that the allocation of seats for post-graduate (PG) medical courses had been erroneously uploaded June 11. The result of the third round of counselling for allocation of seats for PG medical courses was inadvertently released June 11 – a day before it was to be officially announced, the ministry said.
An apex court vacation bench of Justice H.L. Gokhale and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai was told that the release of result was related to a human error at the National Informatics Centre (NIC). ”Thus, it may be clear that leakage of result was not due to any hacking, as has been alleged, but it was due to inadvertent human error,” said senior counsel Tajinder Singh Doabia, appearing for the ministry.
On petitioner Pankila Mittal’s plea that the software created by the NIC was not tamper-free, Doabia told the court that error alleged by her in the allotment of a course to her was due to her own mistake. The senior counsel told the court that the “question of manipulation/mischief/hacking does not arise at all. The process of counseling was/is transparent and software is free of any human bias”.
Appearing for the petitioner doctor, senior counsel Rupinder Singh Suri told the court: “I have given all the MD option and there was no question of applying for PG diploma course.” After taking admission in a Mumbai-based medical college, Mittal participated in the third round of counselling to improve upon her college and the medical stream she wanted to study. As Doabia sought to contest this contention, Justice Gokhlae asked him: “Will it stand to reason that she will give up her MD seat for diploma.”
Thursday was the last day for taking admission under the all-India quota for PG course but the court granted Mittal time till Tuesday to go to Mumbai to collect her original documents from Seth G.S. Medical College and then proceed to Baroda to take admission in PG Diploma in venereology and drmatology.
Counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan, who also appeared for Mittal, drew the attention of the court on her plea for bringing NIC under the protected regime under the Critical Information Infrastructure. The court said “someday we will go into the larger issue”. The court would next hear the matter June 27.