Accepting the plea to implead more accused, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday made them respondents to a petition filed by Bhikhabhai Jethwa, father of the slain RTI activist Amit Jethwa.
Bhikhabhai moved the court seeking a retrial after as many as 105 witnesses in the case related to his son's murder turned hostile in the trial court. Justice J B Pardiwala issued notices to five accused persons who are currently out on bail, asking them to remain present on April 18, the next date of hearing.
The lawyer of two accused, former BJP MP Dinu Solanki and his cousin Shiva Solanki (named as respondents in Jethwa'spetition) requested the high court to implead five more accused: Udaji Thakor, Bhadursinh Wadher, Sanjay Chauhan, courtlastPachan Shiva and Shailesh Pandya.
The court on Wednesday granted the request and issued notices. The CBI, which investigated the case, told court last week that as many as 105 out of the total 195 witnesseshad turned hostile, and five others had complained ofintimidation.
The high court had stayed the trial before the specialCBI court after Bhikhabhai moved the court last month.
Bhikhabhai alleged that witnesses turned hostile becauseof the threats given by Dinu Solanki and Shiva Solanki.
Gujarat Police and the CBI were "not serious at theground level in ensuring protection of witnesses", he alleged.
Jethwa was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court onJuly 20, 2010, allegedly at the behest of Dinu Solanki forexposing illegal mining activities through RTI applications.
Amit had filed a PIL in the high court against illegalmining in Gir forest region, the habitat of Asiatic lions. Charges of murder and criminal conspiracy were framedagainst Solanki and six others in May 2016.