Delhi High Court Orders Refund of GST to DNB Candidates: A Victory for Education Equality

Delhi High Court Orders Refund of GST to DNB Candidates: A Victory for Education Equality

Delhi High Court Orders Refund of GST to DNB Candidates

In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has recently ordered the refund of Goods and Services Tax (GST) collected from candidates appearing for Diplomate National Board (DNB) examinations. The decision comes as a relief to DNB candidates who had been burdened with GST charges on their examination fees. This landmark judgment highlights the court's recognition of the unique nature of DNB courses and the need to exempt them from the purview of GST.


The Diplomate National Board is a renowned medical education institution in India that offers postgraduate courses and qualifications in various medical specialties. As part of the admission and examination process, candidates are required to pay fees to the National Board of Examinations (NBE), which conducts the DNB examinations. Until now, these candidates were also liable to pay GST on top of their examination fees.

The Court's Rationale

The Delhi High Court, presided over by a division bench of justices, examined the issue of GST levied on DNB candidates and the legality of such collection. The court considered the fact that the DNB courses are recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and are equivalent to postgraduate degrees offered by universities. Moreover, the court acknowledged that the examination fees charged by the NBE were purely for educational purposes and not for the provision of any specific service.

The judgment highlighted that GST is primarily applicable to services provided by an institution or organization in exchange for consideration. However, in the case of DNB examinations, the fees paid by candidates are solely for educational purposes and do not fall within the ambit of GST. The court emphasized that the imposition of GST on DNB candidates was unjustified and amounted to a burden on their right to education.

Implications of the Decision

The Delhi High Court's order for the GST refund collected from DNB candidates has significant implications for both the candidates and the education system as a whole. Candidates who have paid GST on their examination fees will now be entitled to seek a refund from the concerned authorities.

This ruling sets an important precedent for other similar professional examinations and courses, highlighting the need to reassess the applicability of GST on educational fees. It raises questions about the taxation of educational services and underscores the importance of ensuring affordable education for students pursuing specialized courses.


The Delhi High Court's directive to refund the GST collected from DNB candidates is a welcome relief for these aspiring medical professionals. The court's decision recognizes the unique nature of DNB courses and the need to exempt them from GST charges. This ruling serves as a significant step toward fostering a more accessible and affordable education system, ensuring that financial burdens do not hinder the pursuit of specialized qualifications. It is expected that this landmark judgment will encourage further deliberation on the taxation of educational services and lead to reforms that prioritize the interests of students.

For any further doubt on matters related to GST registration, its compliance and GST refund feel free to contact ASC Group.

Source: The Tribune India


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