For the fourth time, the Gujarat High Court has refused to hear a bail application of one of the prime accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case — the former Ahmedabad Joint Commissioner of Police, Abhay Chudasma.

Justice Bankim Pathak on Wednesday returned the bail application file with the comment, “Not before me.” He is the fourth judge to have taken the stand in the last few months.

Mr. Chudasma, who was arrested soon after the Central Bureau of Investigation took over the probe a couple of years ago, resumed his efforts for bail after the High Court granted conditional bail to the former Minister of State for Home, Amit Shah, accused of being a key conspirator in the case.

Mr. Shah's bail was later approved by the Supreme Court but on the condition that he would not enter Gujarat until the case was finally disposed of. Mr. Chudasma's bail applications on health grounds were earlier turned down by a special CBI court, which apprehended that being a senior IPS officer, he might influence witnesses.