The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and two other ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government, but said the appointments made for political gains were not morally correct, PTI reported.

Vikhe-Patil was elected MLA from Shirdi in 2014 as an Indian National Party candidate and was the leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly till he joined the BJP in June. Jaydutt Kshirsagar was former Nationalist Congress Party minister, and Avinash Mahatekar had lost election in 2014 on a Republican Party of India (Athawale) ticket.

A division bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and GS Patel in their judgement stated that the Bharatiya Janata Party got majority votes in the Lok Sabha elections and that might have inspired the leaders from other political parties to join the saffron party.

“The ministers have been inducted in the state assembly merely for political gains and convenience,” the court said. “We do not endorse this. What has been done may strictly not be morally correct and may have been a political plot but we cannot hold that the ministers defected and are disqualified.”

The petitioners had alleged that ministerial posts were in violation of the constitutional provisions.

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