Kerala HC stays telecast of soap opera based on Koodathayi cyanide killings

'Koodathayi: The Game of Death' began telecast on January 13 on Flowers TV.

The Kerala High Court Wednesday stayed the telecast of a series based on the cyanide murders in Koodathayi in the state's Kozhikode district for a period of two weeks. The court order came in response to a petition by an eye-witness in the case seeking a stay on the serial, 'Koodathayi: The Game of Death', that began telecast on January 13 on Flowers TV.

In October last year, the local police arrested 47-year-old Jolly Joseph on charges of murdering her husband, her in-laws and three other members of the extended family by mixing cyanide in their food over a period of 14 years. The case garnered widespread coverage in the local media, becoming a sensational talking-point in drawing rooms across the state. The notoriety of the crimes, carried out purportedly with absolute precision by Joseph and two of her aides, astounded many among the deeply-conservative sections of the Kerala society.

The prosecution seeking a stay on the television serial argued that the latter would generate predetermined notions among the public and can even influence the trial in the serial killings. It said the serial was trampling upon a transparent and honest trial in the case.

The petitioner in the case, Mohammed, pleaded before the court that the serial was attempting to portray witnesses in the case in bad light, hampering their privacy and personal lives.

The court issued notices to the state police chief, the channel's managing director and the serial director relaying the details of the stay order.