M. Katju, J.
1. This writ petition has been tiled for quashing the impugned amendment to Section 177 (c) of the U.P. Municipal Corporation Act, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as the. Act) by the U.P. Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002.
2. The petitioner is a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act. It runs various Educational Institutions mentioned in Para 4 of the writ petition. It is alleged in Para 5 of the petition that these Educational Institutions are recognized either by the Board of High School and Intermediate Education, U.P., Allahabad or the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi.
3. Section 173 of the Act states:-
"173. Property Taxes leviable.-(1) For the purposes of Sub-section (1) of Section 172 property taxes shall comprise the following taxes which shall, subject to the exceptions, limitations and conditions hereinafter provided, be levied on building and lands in the city-
(a) a general tax which may be levied, if the Corporation so determines, on a graduated scale;
(b) a water tax;
(c) drainage tax leviable in areas provided with sewer system by the Mahapalika;
(d) a conservancy tax in areas in which the Mahapalika undertakes the collection, removal and disposal of excrementitious and polluted matter from privies, urinals and cesspools.
(2) Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act or Rules made there under, these taxes shall be levied on the annual value of buildings or land as the case may be."
4. Before its amendment by the U.P. Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2002, Section 177 of the Act stated:-
"177. General Tax on what premises to be levied.-The general tax shall be levied in respect of all buildings and lands in the city except:-
(a) buildings and lands solely used for purposes connected with the disposal of the dead;
(b) buildings and lands or portions thereof solely occupied and used for public worship or for a charitable purpose;
(c) buildings solely used as jails, Court houses, treasuries, schools and colleges."
5. Thus, buildings used for Schools and Colleges were exempt for the general tax under Section 173.
6. Subsequently by the impugned Ordinance of 2002, Clause (c) of the Section 177 has been substituted by the following clause:-
"(c) building solely used as Schools and Intermediate colleges run and managed or aided by the State Government."
7. A perusal of the new Sub-section (c) of Section 177 shows that only those schools and colleges which arc run, managed or aided by the State Government are exempted from the general tax, and hence other schools and colleges are not exempted.
8. The submission of learned Counsel for the petitioner is that this amendment violates Article 14 of the Constitution as it discriminates against schools and colleges which are not run, managed or aided by the State Government.
9. In our opinion, there is no merit in this petition. It is for the legislature to decide as to which schools or colleges should be granted exemption and which schools or colleges should not. Schools and Colleges which are not run, managed or aided by the State Government clearly belong to a different class from those which arc run, managed or aided by the State Government.
10. It is possible that the Governor, while issuing the impugned Ordinance may have been of the view that private Educational Institutions which are not run, managed or aided by the State Government are more like business enterprises operating for private profit, and hence they should pay the general tax, while institutions run, managed or aided by the Government are usually not run for private profit. There could also be some other reason for the Governor to differentiate between these two classes of Educational Institutions. However, in our opinion, this Court cannot go into the Governor's motives. An Ordinance is on the same legal footing as an Act of the legislature vide Article 213(2) of the Constitution, and it is well settled that the Court cannot go into the motive of a legislation vide K.C.G. Narayan Deo v. State of Orissa, AIR 1953 SC 375, Ashok v. Union of India, AIR 1991 SC 1792, Jaora Sugar Mills v. State, AIR 1966 SC 416, Federation of Hotel and Restaurants v. Union of India, AIR 1990 SC 1637, R.S. Joshi v. Ajit Mills, AIR 1977 SC 2279, etc.
11. The petitioner has not challenged the legislative competence of the Governor, but it may be pointed out that the property tax mentioned in Section 173 of the Act comes within the ambit of Entry 49 of List II and hence the municipality has jurisdiction to levy the tax.
12. Although tax laws are also subject to Article 14 of the Constitution vide ITO v. NTR Rymbai, AIR 1976 SC 670, a larger discretion in classification is given to the legislature in tax matters than in other spheres vide Anant Mills v. State of Gujarat, AIR 1975 SC 1234; R.K. Garg v. Union of India, (1982) 1 UPTC 355 (SC); Malwa Bus Service (P) Ltd. v. State of Punjab, (1983) 3 SCC 237. This is in view of the inherent complexity of fiscal adjustment of diverse elements vide ITO v. NTR Rymbai; AIR 1976 SC 670; Amalgamated Tea Estate Co. Ltd. v. State of kerala, 1975 UPTC 89. A taxing statute is not open to attack on the ground that it taxes some persons or objects and not others vide East India Tobacco Co. v. State of A.P., AIR 1962 SC 1733. The State has a wide discretion in selecting the objects or persons that it will tax vide Khyerbari Tea Co. v. State of Assam, AIR 1964 SC 925 (941), and in order to tax something it is not bound to tax everything vide Orient Weaving Mills Ltd. v. Union of India, AIR 1963 SC 98; State of M.P. v. Bhopal Sugar Industries, AIR 1964 SC 1179. It can pick and choose objects, areas, persons, rates, etc. vide WR Varma v. Union of India, AIR 1969 SC 1094; ITO v. NTR Rymbai, AIR 1976 SC
670. Thus, a house tax imposed by a municipality only on Civil Lines Area is not invalid vide Gopal Narain v. State of U.P., AIR 1964 SC
370. Similarly, where the State Legislature selects two articles, which are the main products of the State, for taxation, it is valid vide Khyerbari Tea Co. Ltd. v. State of Assam, AIR 1964 SC 925. A tax imposed only on tea and jute is valid vide Atiabari Tea Co. Ltd. v. State of Assam, AIR 1961 SC 232. Imposition of tax on cane jaggery and exempting palm jaggery is not discriminatory vide T.G. Venkataraman v. State of Madras, AIR 1970 SC 508. A tax law is not discriminatory merely because different rates are prescribed for different items vide Malwa Bus Service v. State of Punjab, (1983) 3 SCC 237.
13. Where a law provided that if the assessee sold to a person other than the Government at any time within 10 years in which the motor vehicle was acquired he would forfeit the rebate, but if he sold it to the Government he would not, it was held that there is no violation of Article 14. The asessee has a choice of selling it to the Government or to another person. The discrimination, if any, arises out of the choice of the persons vide Chittoor Motor Transport Co. v. ITO, AIR 1966 SC
14. The classification of companies into domestic and foreign companies is valid vide Amalgamated Tea Estates Co. v. State of Kerala, 1975 UPTC
89. So also is the classification between Virginia tobacco and country tobacco vide East India Tobacco Co. v. State of A.P., AIR 1962 SC 1733 and a classification between big manufacturers and small ones vide British India Corp. v. Collector of Central Excise, AIR 1963 SC 104, A classification of traders or shopkeepers selling gold ornaments for giving the benefit of exemption from sales tax into those who themselves work and produce the ornaments and those who are commission agents is valid vide C. Krishna Murthy v. State of Orissa, AIR 1964 SC 1581. Classification of tobacco into luxury and non-luxury categories is valid vide East India Tobacco Co. v. State of A.P., AIR 1962 SC 1733. An under-inclusive 'provision in the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act was declared valid in Supdt. and Remembrancer v. Girish Kumar, AIR 1975 SC 1030, on the ground that the legislature is free to remedy parts of a mischief or to recognize degrees of evil and strike at the harm where it thinks it most acute. In the same case the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the piecemeal approach in tax legislation vide ibid.
15. In State of Bihar v. SKP Sinha, (1995) 3 SCC 86, it was observed that greater latitude should be conceded to the legislature or its delegate in matters of taxation, and the Court should not substitute its own opinion in such matters.
16. It may be mentioned that there is a presumption in favour of the constitutional validity of a Statute vide Chiranjit Lal v. Union of India, 1950 SCR 869, Madhu Limaye v. S.D.M., AIR 1971 SC 2486, P.J. Krishnalal v. Government of Kerala, 1995 AIR SCW 1325, Jilu Bhai Nan Bhai v. State of Gujarat, AIR 1995 SC 142, etc.
17. Hence we do not find any violation of Article 14 of the Constitution by the impugned Ordinance of 2002.
18. Petition is dismissed.