The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant interim bail to ex-Army officer Shrikant Prasad Purohit, Pragya Thakur and other accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
A bench of justices HL Dattu and CK Prasad refused to grant any interim relief after senior advocate UR Lalit appearing for the accused contended they have been behind bars for four years and their petitions are not being heard by the apex court.
"We will not give interim bail at this stage," the bench said.
The bench further said that "it's not our fault" that the petitions are not being heard on a regular basis, after the state government sought adjournment of the case.
The court adjourned the case for three weeks.
The bench also extended its interim order restraining the the National Investigation Agency from interrogating the accused.
On January 4 this year, the apex court had extended its stay of the Bombay High Court order allowing the agency to interrogate him and had also impleaded the NIA on the bail plea of Purohit.
On December 16 last year, the bench had stayed the operation of the high court's order.
Purohit had approached the apex court challenging the High Court's October 20, 2011 order allowing NIA to take him from judicial custody to interrogate him.
Purohit was arrested and issued a charge sheet in connection with the Malegaon bomb blast that took place on September 29, 2008 leaving seven persons dead.