Couple restrained from airing court proceedings in public

Chief Judicial Magistrate M.B. Snehalatha on Friday restrained K.B. Ganesh Kumar, MLA, and his ‘estranged’ wife Yamini Thankachi from airing in public the ‘in-camera’ proceedings she presided over while hearing the domestic violence petition filed by the former Forest Minister’s wife.

The CJM passed the order on the ground that the court was bound to protect the long-term interests of two minor children of the couple, including insulating them from adverse public glare.

The hearing, in perhaps, the most discussed domestic violence case in recent times in Kerala commenced at 11.45 a.m. with Mr. Ganesh’s counsel, Abdul Kharim, filing his client’s counter affidavit in the case. In his petition, Mr. Ganesh said he had always been willing to comply with the terms of an agreement he had reached with Yamini under the mediation of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

The only dispute he had was regarding the method of payment of the interim relief for the maintenance of his children. He had suggested putting fixed deposits in the name of children till they attained adulthood with a provision for Yamini to draw monthly interest from the amount. However, Ms. Yamini did not agree to the suggestion.

Mr. Ganesh said the interest of his children was his only concern and he would abide by any orders or suggestions passed by the court in this regard. His lawyer said he was ready to submit in court a cheque of Rs.25 lakh drawn in favour of Ms. Yamini.

The CJM ordered Mr. Ganesh and Ms. Yamini to appear in person before her for ‘in camera hearings in her chamber’ at 2.45 p.m. Mr. Ganesh arrived first followed by Ms. Yamini and her counsels. Media persons mobbed them and they had to jostle through a crowd of camera and mike wielding television journalists to access the court building.

The ‘in-camera’ proceedings went on till 5 p.m. The CJM heared the couple individually, later together, and then again in the presence of their respective lawyers. She warned both parties against speaking about the proceedings in public. She said she would hear the case again on April 12.