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New Delhi court rejects AB InBev's plea to reverse city ban

A court in India's capital New Delhi denied Anheuser-Busch InBev SA's appeal to reverse a city-wide sales ban on its products, Reuters reported Dec. 19.

New Delhi authorities have imposed a three-year ban on selling AB InBev products in the city's key markets due to the company's alleged tax evasion. AB InBev has denied the allegations.

According to the news wire, Justice Navin Chawla told the Belgian brewer to file another appeal with the city's senior officials.

In previous hearings, AB InBev's lawyer reportedly argued the ban must be revoked because the company was not duly notified before it was enacted.

A company spokesperson told Reuters that it is "committed to operating with integrity and ethics" and continues to be excited about its business in India.

AB InBev's legal hurdles with Delhi city officials began after a government probe allegedly found that the company's subsidiary ABI SAB Group Holding Ltd., formerly known as SABMiller Ltd., duplicated bar codes on its beer bottles and supplied these products to city retailers to evade taxes.

In September, another court turned down AB InBev's plea to overturn the ban while the appeal is heard. Chawla, who also presided over the previous plea, said the company must first complete the appeals process with state authorities.

AB InBev did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.