R.S. Pathak, J.
1. The petitioner is a partner of the firm M/s. Jeet Mal Ram Gopal which carries on business as commission agents and dealers in ghee. The firm was assessed by the Sales Tax Officer on 28th November, 1967, to sales tax under the U.P. Sales Tax Act and a notice of demand requiring the payment of Rs. 33,256.62 as sales tax was issued. The amount is sought to be recovered from the petitioner and a warrant of arrest has been issued.
2. By this petition the petitioner prays for mandamus directing the respondents not to execute the warrant of arrest against the petitioner.
3. The contention of the petitioner is that he is not liable to arrest in proceedings for recovery of tax assessed on the firm. That contention is founded on the circumstance that no notice of demand has been addressed to the petitioner. It is urged that there is no obligation on the petitioner to pay the tax assessed on the firm without such notice of demand and unless such notice is issued to the petitioner, he cannot be said to be in default and, therefore, no question arises of taking coercive proceedings for recovering the tax from him.
4. There can be no dispute that the U.P. Sales Tax Act envisages the assessment of a firm as an entity distinct from its partners. That was held by this court in Jagat Behari Tandon v. Sales Tax Officer  8 S.T.C. 459 and the decision has received the approval of the Supreme Court in subsequent cases. The question which arises is whether a notice of demand addressed to the firm can operate as a notice calling upon the partners to pay the tax. In our opinion, when we speak of a partnership being an entity distinct from its partners in a taxation statute, that is for the purpose of assessment only : Sahu Rajeshwar Nath v. Income-tax Officer  54 I.T.R. 755. Once an assessment order has been made, the distinction between a firm as a unit and its individual partners disappears and the veil surrounding it and separating it from its individual partners vanishes and there after whenever reference is made to the firm, reference is intended to the partners comprising it. In that respect, the position reverts to what it is under the general law. Consequently, a notice of demand must be considered as a demand upon the several partners of the firm to pay up the tax. Viewed from this standpoint, it is clear that on the failure of the partners to comply with the notice of demand and pay up the tax they must be treated as being in default and thereupon each one of them is liable to be proceeded against for recovery of the tax. As was pointed out in Sahu Rajeshwar Nath  54 I.T.R. 755 upon the issue of the notice of demand a debt owed by the firm comes into existence. That is a debt for which the partners are liable in the same manner as any other debt of the firm. Under the law relating to partnership, each partner is jointly and severally liable for the debts of the firm and a creditor is entitled to ultimately proceed against the personal assets of each partner for recovering the debt. It is said that while that may be so it is not open to the sales tax authorities to recover the tax from an individual partner by taking coercive proceeding for recovery of the tax from him. Such a plea was taken and was repelled in Sahu Rajeshwar Nath v. Income-tax Officer Civil Appeal No. 1768 of 1967 decided on 4-9-1968; since reported at  72 I.T.R. 617 decided by the Supreme Court on appeal from the decision referred to above. The Supreme Court held that if regard be had to the provisions of Section 46(2) of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, it will be found that the Income-tax Officer is entitled to invoke in aid of the recovery proceedings all the pertinent provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure and in this respect the Supreme Court specifically referred to Order 21, Rule 50, of the Code which provides that a decree passed against a firm may be executed not only against any property of the firm but also against a person who has been adjudged to be a partner.
5. A provision similar to Section 46(2) of the Indian Income-tax Act now obtains in the U.P. Sales Tax Act. Sub-section (1) of Section 8 of that Act declares that in default of payment of the tax demanded by a notice of demand the whole of the amount of tax remaining due shall be recoverable in accordance with Sub-section (8) and Sub-section (8) of Section 8 provides that sales tax payable to the State Government shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue. This power has been supplemented by a recent amendment to the Act made by the addition of Section 33, which declares that upon a recovery certificate issued by the assessing authority to the Collector, the Collector shall proceed to recover from the person named in the certificate the amount specified therein as if it were an arrear of land revenue and that the Collector shall for the purpose of recovering that amount have all the powers which a civil court has under the Code of Civil Procedure for the purpose of recovery of an amount due under a decree. The result of the insertion of Section 33 in the Act is to bring the recovery provisions under the U.P. Sales Tax Act on a par with Section 46(2) of the Indian Income-tax Act. The considerations, therefore, which prevailed with the Supreme Court in Sahu Rajeshwar Nath, (Civil Appeal No. 1768 of 1967 decided on 4-9-1968; since reported at  72 I.T.R. 617) fully apply to the case before us. The several modes of satisfying a decree for money passed against a firm are available for recovering sales tax due from a firm, from its individual partners. These modes of recovery include the arrest and detention of the individual partners.
6. That is clear from Section 51 of the Code of Civil Procedure which among other modes provides for the execution of a decree by the arrest and detention in prison of the judgment-debtor. But before execution by detention in prison is ordered, it is necessary that the relevant authority should comply with the restrictions laid down in the proviso to Section 51 where a decree for payment of money is executed by detention in prison. It is not contended before us that the restrictions contained in that proviso have been transgressed. For the purposes of this writ petition and confining ourselves to the contentions raised before us, it is sufficient for us to say that the respondents are competent to recover the sales tax assessed on the firm by taking recovery proceedings against the petitioner and that those proceedings may include the arrest and detention of the petitioner in prison. If the authority concerned has not complied with the restrictions imposed under Section 51 in the matter of the execution of a decree for payment of money, it is open to the petitioner to raise that question before that authority.
7. With these observations, we dismiss the petition but we make no order as to costs.