14. Mechanism for dispute resolution.-
(1) Where, the farming agreement does not provide for conciliation process as required under sub-section (1) of section 13, or the parties to the farming agreement fail to settle their dispute under that section within a period of thirty days, then, any such party may approach the concerned Sub-Divisional Magistrate who shall be the Sub-Divisional Authority for deciding the disputes under farming agreements.
(2) On receipt of a dispute under sub-section (1), the Sub-Divisional Authority may, if-
(a) the farming agreement did not provide for conciliation process, constitute a conciliation board for bringing about settlement of such dispute; or
(b) the parties failed to settle their dispute through conciliation process, decide the dispute in a summary manner within thirty days from the date of receipt of such dispute, after giving the parties a reasonable opportunity of being heard and pass an order for recovery of the amount under dispute, with such penalty and interest, as it deems fit, subject to the following conditions, namely:-
(i) where the Sponsor fails to make payment of the amount due to the farmer, such penalty may extend to one and half times the amount due;
(ii) where the order is against the farmer for recovery of the amount due to the Sponsor on account of any advance payment or cost of inputs, as per terms of farming agreement, such amount shall not exceed the actual cost incurred by the Sponsor;
(iii) where the farming agreement in dispute is in contravention of the provisions of this Act, or default by the farmer is due to force majeure, then, no order for recovery of amount shall be passed against the farmer.
(3) Every order passed by the Sub-Divisional Authority under this section shall have same force as a decree of a civil court and be enforceable in the same manner as that of a decree under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), unless an appeal is preferred under sub-section (4).
(4) Any party aggrieved by the order of the Sub-Divisional Authority may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Authority, which shall be presided over by the Collector or Additional Collector nominated by the Collector, within thirty days from the date of such order.
(5) The Appellate Authority shall dispose of the appeal within thirty days.
(6) Every order passed by the Appellant Authority under this section shall have same force as a decree of a civil court and be enforceable in the same manner as that of a decree under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).
(7) The amount payable under any order passed by the Sub-Divisional Authority or the Appellant Authority, as the case may be, may be recovered as arrears of land revenue.
(8) The Sub-Divisional Authority or the Appellate Authority shall, while deciding disputes under this section, have all the powers of a civil court for the purposes of taking evidence on oath, enforcing the attendance of witnesses, compelling the discovery and production of documents and material objects and for such other purposes as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
(9) The manner and procedure for filing a petition or an application before the Sub-Divisional Authority and an appeal before the Appellate Authority shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.