The High Court of Karnataka on Friday allowed the National Neonatology Forum of India (NNFI) to hold NEOCON-2021, a medical education conference of neonatologists and other medical practitioners being held at a resort in Hoskote on the outskirts of the city till December 19 while directing the organisers to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP).
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum passed the order after the State Government clarified that there was no need for the organisers to take permission from the authorities as the number of participants is less than 500.
The Bench passed the order while disposing of the PIL petition filed by Prashanth Urs, a medical practitioner and a past president of NNFI’s Karnataka chapter.
The Government counsel also told the Bench that the Hoskote taluk health authorities and the jurisdictional police have inspected the venue of the event and found no violation of COVID-19 guidelines and the number of participants registered for the event is around 300 persons.
Following this, the Bench directed the NNFI to ensure strict compliance of the SOP and give no room for any violation. The court also said NNFI should enforce strictly its own guideline prescribed for the participants that they should produce two-dose vaccination certificate and RT-PCR test negative report of at least 48 hours prior to the date of attending the event.
Earlier, counsel for the NNFI orally pointed out to the Bench the petitioner had approached the court against holding of conference as he had unsuccessfully contested an election held to the forum some time ago.
However, the Bench said that it is more concerned about preventing spread of COVID-19. It was also pointed out on behalf of the NNFI that only around 300 participants were registered to attend the conference and not 3,000 as claimed in the petition.
The Government counsel, who had initially said that no permission was sought, later clarified in writing to the court that no permission was necessary as number of participants is less than 500.