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518 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
appeared and death occurred within one hour and a half after his admission to hospital.
—Bengal Chemical Examiner's Annual Report, 1932, p. 16.
8. On the llth July 1938, a sweet, known as " Churrna", which was prepared by
a local sweet-seller, was distributed among school children, both boys and girls, from
various schools in Mianwali Town. Within a few minutes all those children suffered
from vomiting, diarrhoea and colicky pains in the abdomen. Two hundred and forty-
seven of them were admitted into the Civil Hospital for treatment. All recovered except
one. The presence of white arsenic and red sulphate of mercury was demonstrated in
some of the vomited matters and in the sweets.—Punjab Chemical Examiner's Annual
Report, 1938, p. 11.
9. In his annual report for the year 1946, the Chemical Examiner, Madras, describes
a case in which a Brahmin priest mixed arsenic and dhatura in holy water (' Theertham "),
and gave the water to drink to the inmates of a house where he performed a religious
ceremony. Within an hour after taking the water the inmates of the house vomited,
purged, became delirious and walked about as if insane. The next day the priest went
back to the house. He pretended to do puja (offer prayers) to cure the victims and
gave them "vibuthi" (holy ashes). When the victim became unconscious, the priest
collected all the jewels of the house and quietly walked out. The next morning the
victims recovered and informed the police of the incident. Three packets were seized
from the accused. They were found to contain a mydriatic alkaloid. The microscopic
examination of the contents of these packets showed particles of dhatura seeds. Arsenic
equivalent to about one-third of a grain of white arsenic was detected in one of the
10. A report was made at a police-station at Kanpur that a man died under
suspicious circumstances. A person who was living with the deceased had illegal con-
nection with his daughter-in-law. It appeared that he poisoned the deceased to get rid
of him. On suspicion the police reached the spot and found the body burning on the
pyre. The police took possession of the ashes and bones. Arsenic was detected in both
these articles.—U.P. Chem. Examiner's Ann. Rep., 1948.
The following are the compounds of antimony of which antimony tarta-
ratrim and antimony trichloride are important from a medico-legal point of
view : —
1. Antimony Tartaratum, K(SbO) C4H4O6, JH2O.—This is also called
tartarated antimony, potassium antimonyl tartrate or tartar emetic. It is a
pharmacopoeial preparation, known as antimonii et potassii tartras, and
occurs in colourless, transparent crystals or in a white, granular powder,
containing about 35 per cent of metallic antimony. It is insoluble in alcohol
(-90 per cent), but is soluble in seventeen parts of cold water and in three
parts of boiling water, the solution having a faintly acid and nauseating
metallic taste. The dose is 1/32 to 1/8 grain as an expectorant, £ to 1 grain
as an emetic and 4 to 2 grains by intravenous injection (in 2 per cent
solution). It has been occasionally mistaken for tartaric acid, Epsom salts,
sodium bicarbonate, and sometimes for cream of tartar. It constitutes an
ingredient of many quack pills, such as Dixon's pills, etc. It is largely used
in veterinary practice for improving the condition of the horse's skin.
• Vinum antimoniale, a non official preparation, is a solution of tartar
emetic in sherry wine, the strength being 2 grains to an ounce. The dose is
10 to 30 minims as an expectorant and 2 to 4 drachms as an emetic. It is
sometimes employed for criminal purposes.
Sodium antimonyl tartrate is an official preparation, known as antimonii
et sodii tartras, and occurs as a white, crystalline powder, freely soluble in
water, and insoluble in alcohol (90 per cent). The dose is the same as that
of antimonii et potassii tartras.
2. Antimony Trioxide (Antimonious Oxide), Sb203.—This is a non-
official preparation, known as antimonii oxidum, and occurs as a greyish-
white powder, having neither taste, nor odour. The dose is 1 to 2 grains.
It is an ingredient of pulvis antimonialis (James's powder, dose 3 to 6 grains),
and gives rise to an important series of salts. When volatilized it condenses
into two* distinct forms, prismatic and octahedral crystals. It is almost