Thiruvananthapuram: Marking the climax of the long-drawn family rift, former Kerala Forest Minister KB Ganesh Kumar and his estranged wife Yamini Thankachi on Thursday moved a joint divorce petition in the family court in Thiruvananthapuram. Admitting the petition, the magistrate posted hearing for October 21 and suggested that they undergo counselling before that date as a final attempt to patch-up.
The joint move was anticipated as the couple had already reached an out-of-court settlement over the conditions for separation and Ganesh even openly expressed regret for the 'unsavoury' comments he had made against his wife. As part of the pact, Yamini also filed an application in the Chief Judicial Magistrate court, seeking to withdraw the domestic violence petition she had filed against Ganesh.
An actor-turned politician and lone nominee of the Kerala Congress(B) in the Congress-led UDF ministry, Ganesh was forced to resign from the Oommen Chandy cabinet earlier this month after Yamini lodged a police complaint of domestic violence against him. "I feel I got justice. I mainly thank Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and my father-in-law (R Balakrishna Pillai) for this," an emotionally charged Yamini told reporters while coming out of the court.
Kumar had last week filed a divorce petition alleging that he was manhandled by his wife. Reacting sharply, Yamini lodged a complaint of domestic violence with the police, which led to Kumar's resignation from the ministry on April 1. The issue also created political ripples with the LDF Opposition demanding the resignation of Chandy, alleging that he had shielded Kumar, who was facing domestic violence charges.
Though Chandy attempted for a truce between the couple in the early stage, working out a pact for separation, it could not be implemented leading to cases and counter-cases by Kumar and Yamini. Under the proposed settlement, a substantial share of Kumar's property would go to Yamini and their two children.
The latest mediation efforts commenced last week after Kumar expressed willingness to arrive at a settlement through talks to which Chief Judicial Magistrate Snehalatha gave her consent.