Mumbai, Sep 9 (PTI) Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan on Wednesday said the Supreme Court's order staying the implementation of the 2018 state law granting reservation to Marathas was 'unexpected and shocking'.
The Congress leader, however, noted that a three-judge bench of the apex court has referred to a larger Constitution bench the petitions questioning the validity of the law, and no final decision has been taken yet.
Therefore, it was not right to claim that the quota has been stayed, he added.
The state government will approach the Chief Justice of India on Monday seeking to vacate the stay, he said.
Chavan, the state PWD minister, also heads a cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota.
'The interim order given by the Supreme Court while referring the matter to a larger Constitution bench is unexpected, shocking and surprising,' he said in a statement.
The apex court has referred matters to a larger Constitution bench in the past, but no interim order was passed in such cases, Chavan said.
'However, such a decision has been taken in the case of Maratha reservation,' the minister said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will hold a meeting to discuss the court order and decide legal options, Chavan said.
He also hit back at the BJP, which has blamed the Sena-NCP-Congress government's handling of the litigation for the adverse SC order.
'For me, it is not an issue of politics. Hence I will not respond to political criticism,' he said, without naming the BJP.
If it was serious about ensuring quota for the Marathas, it should have filed an intervention petition and forced the Centre to take a positive stand on the issue, Chavan said.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the implementation of the Maratha quota law, but said the status of those who have availed of the benefits will not be disturbed. PTI ENM KRK KRK