Australian company to sue CWG organisers over unpaid bills

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Melbourne, Jan 20 (PTI) The controversy-marredCommonwealth Games, held in New Delhi last year, finds itselfin yet another embarrassing situation with an Australiancompany planning to sue event''s organisers over the unpaidbills.

An Australian company, which was behind the CWG openingand closing ceremonies, has still not received the bills fromthe Organising Committee (OC) and hence, is all set to take alegal action against it.

Ric Birch, who was the mastermind behind the successfulopening and closing ceremonies of the mega-event, which tookplace from October 3 to 14 last year, said that his employershave still not paid the bills.

"I supplied the services of 12 people over the course ofthe year leading up to the Games, which includedchoreographers, producers and myself as executive producer,"Birch was quoted as saying by ABC.net.au.

"They''re all production people who were intimatelyinvolved in the creation, production and direction of theopening and closing ceremonies."

He also added that when he tried to contact theorganisers of the Games in relation to the unpaid bills, thecalls were first ignored.

"Then finally in December I got a very short note fromLalit Bhanot who is secretary general of the organisingcommittee. He sent a note saying that now they wanted to claima performance guarantee because Mr Birch''s performance was notup to the mark. So I am mortified as you can imagine."

Birch''s Indian lawsuit is shaping as the first salvo in apossible USD 3 million-plus class action involving at leastfour of Australia''s biggest major event names -- includingBirch''s Spectak Productions, and world-renowned fireworksgroup Howard

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