Marking the climax of the long-drawn family rift, former Kerala Forest Minister K B 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 Mr. Ganesh even openly expressed regret for the ‘unsavoury’ comments he had made against his wife.
As part of the pact, Ms. Yamini also filed an application in the Chief Judicial Magistrate court, seeking to withdraw the domestic violence petition she had filed against Mr. Ganesh.
An actor-turned politician and lone nominee of the Kerala Congress(B) in the Congress-led UDF ministry, Mr. Ganesh was forced to resign from the Oommen Chandy cabinet earlier this month after Ms. 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 Ms. Yamini told reporters while coming out of the court.
Mr. Kumar had last week filed a divorce petition alleging that he was manhandled by his wife. Reacting sharply, Ms. 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 Mr. Chandy, alleging that he had shielded Mr. Kumar, who was facing domestic violence charges.
Though Mr. 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 Mr. Kumar and Ms. Yamini.
Under the proposed settlement, a substantial share of Mr. Kumar’s property would go to Mr. Yamini and their two children.
The latest mediation efforts commenced last week after Mr. Kumar expressed willingness to arrive at a settlement through talks to which Chief Judicial Magistrate Snehalatha gave her consent.