In a major setback to the Congress, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay poll panel's notification allowing NOTA in upcoming Rajya Sabha poll in Gujarat.

"Why are you so late in raising the question as the EC had already issued notification in January 2014, " the top court bench asked the Gujarat Congress.

The apex court agreed to examine the Constitutional validity of the EC's notification to give an option of NOTA in elections.

According to reports, the Gujarat Congress, on Wednesday, moved the top court against the Election Commission's decision to introduce NOTA in the Rajya Sabha polls.

The top court had on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea moved by the Gujarat Congress challenging the decision to use None of the Above (NOTA) option in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls in the state.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra agreed to hear the plea after senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter before it and sought urgent hearing.

As per reports, the directions to use NOTA in Rajya Sabha elections were enforced in January 2014 after the Supreme Court in 2013 made it mandatory to have NOTA option in EVMs.

(With inputs from agencies)