Jagannatha Shetty, J.
1. M/s. K. A. Veerichetty & Sons, the petitioner, is a partnership firm, of which one Shanmugam was a partner. He was also a member of an association of persons called 'Shanmugam Textiles'. Shanmugam Textiles was an assessee for the assessment years 1965-66. The association of persons was assessed determining the tax liability at Rs. 3,31,392 as income-tax and Rs. 69,280 as annuity deposit.
2. For recovering the above tax, on December 1, 1973, the Income-tax Officer (Collection), Salem, under section 226(3) of the Income-tax Act, attached certain deposit belonging to V. Shanmugam, lying with M/s. K. A. Veerichetty & Sons. The attachment was followed by a certificate issued under section 222 of the Income-tax Act, stating that Rs. 1,35,582 is due from the petitioner on behalf of M/s. V. Shanmugam and L. V. Veerichettiar as members of the association of persons of M/s. Shanmugam Textiles and with a request that it should be recovered from the sum attached. The certificate has been issued to the Tax Recovery Officer, Bangalore - respondent 2 before me.
3. The question is whether the said certificate is valid. The answer to the question depends on the validity of attachment effected under section 226(3) of the Income-tax Act. If the attachment is valid, then the certificate shall be held to be valid. If the attachment is illegal, then it goes without saying that the certificate would be bad.
Section 226(3) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, so far as it is relevant provides :
'226. (3) (i) The Income-tax Officer may, at any time or from time to time, by notice in writing require any person from whom money is due or may become due to the assessee or any person who holds or may subsequently hold money for or on account of the assessee, to pay to the Income-tax Officer either forthwith upon the money becoming due or being held or at or within the time specified in the notice (not being before the money becomes due or is held) so much of the money as is sufficient to pay the amount due by the assessee in respect of arrears or the whole of the money when it is equal to or less than that amount.....
(ix) any person discharging any liability to the assessee after receipt of a notice under this sub-section shall be personally liable to the Income-tax Officer to the extent of his own liability to the assessee so discharged or to the extent of the assessee's liability for any sum due under this Act, whichever is less.
(x) if the person to whom a notice under this sub-section is sent fails to make payment in pursuance thereof to the Income-tax Officer, he shall be deemed to be an assessee in default in respect of the amount specified in the notice and further proceedings may be taken against him for the realisation of the amount as if it were an arrear of tax due from him, in the manner provided in sections 222 to 225 and the notice shall have the same effect as an attachment of a debt by the Tax Recovery Officer in exercise of his powers under section 222.'
4. The requirement of the section for attaching money in the hands of any person is that that money must be due or may become due to the assessee or he must hold or may subsequently hold money for or on account of the assessee. In the instant case, the assessee who is in default is M/s. 'Shanmugam Textiles', an association of persons. The petitioner, 'M/s. K. A. Veerichetty & Sons', admittedly, did not owe any money to the assessee. They might owe money to V. Shanmugam who was a partner and who is also one of the members of the association of persons called 'Shanmugam Textiles'. But that is not sufficient to invoke the provisions of section 226(3). So long as it is not disputed that 'M/s. K. A. Veerichetty & Sons' do not owe any money to 'Shanmugam Textiles', the impugned attachment was wholly illegal and the certificate issued for recovery of the money under attachment was equally bad.
5. In the result, the rule is made absolute and a writ in the nature of certiorari shall issue quashing the impugned certificate dated January 18, 1974, issued by respondent 1 to respondent 2.
6. The petitioner is entitled to its costs. Advocate's fee, Rs. 100.