Erstwhile Goldman Sachs director, Rajat Gupta, was today sentenced to two years in prison and fined $5 million for insider trading by Manhattan US District Judge Jed Rakoff.
The 63-year-old Gupta arrived at court for his sentencing, accompanied by his lawyer. He allowed photographers to click pictures, telling his lawyer, “They’re just doing their job.”
The corporate world reacted to the sentencing. Heaving sighs of dissapointment, they wish Gupta well.
There are some, who are relieved as the common consensus was that he might be sentenced to four years in jail.
India Inc. reactions:
Anil Sood, who has served as an official at the World Bank for 30 years and had been a character witness at Gupta's trial, said the appeal in the case will be the next thing that Gupta would focus on. He said Gupta's friends and family were praying for the best as they awaited the sentencing. While Gupta's sentence is a lot less than the 8-10 years that the prosecution was seeking, Sood said two years in prison is "still a lot" for a person who has had a remarkable life so far.
Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Group "It is quite unfortunate and sad. If Rajat is going to appeal against the judgement I wish him a good luck. I was recently in Boston and at Harvard where there was a general view that the conviction will be for about four years. I was expecting one year, though now Rajat has been convicted for two years. In India, tell me if any big fish even after conviction has gone to jail. So the message from Rajat's conviction is Don't Do Wrong."
Analjit Singh, Chairman, Max India "With Rajat's conviction the shock did not come yesterday but it was a culmination of shock. It is really unfortunate. I wish him well. When it comes to insider trading, it is all the more important for companies in India and elsewhere on how they deal with the shareholders."
Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Industries "I do not want to comment on an individual case. However, I strongly feel that norms against insider trading in India are quite robust."
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairman & managing director, Biocon, “I was expecting the sentence to be a lot more lenient. They decided to make an example of a good man, who in a moment of weakness made an error of judgment. He comes across as a humanitarian, a good person, a man of integrity. And that’s why I think he’s paying a very lofty price for an error of judgment. He’s a man who was keen on making a change in his home country, in areas like healthcare and governance. So it’s very said that he had to be the fall guy.”