It is true that the rule of exhaustion of alternative remedy is a rule of discretion and not one of compulsion, but it is difficult to fathom any reason why the High Court should entertain a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution and pass interim order ignoring the fact that the petitioner can avail effective alternative remedy by filing application, appeal, revision, etc. and the particular legislation contains a detailed mechanism for redressal of his grievance.

The appeal is to be preferred before the Tribunal, as distinct from the appellate tribunal, within 30 days. Section 24 of the RDB Act, therefore, manifestly makes the provisions of the Limitation Act applicable only to such an original “application” made under Section 19 only. The definition of an “application” under Rule 2(c) cannot be extended to read it in conjunction with Section 2(b) of the Act extending the meaning thereof beyond what the Act provides for and then make Section 24 of the RDB Act applicable to an appeal under Section 30(1) of the Act. Any such interpretation shall be completely contrary to the legislative intent, extending the Rules beyond what the Act provides for and limits. Had the intention been otherwise, nothing prevented the Legislature from providing so specifically.

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