As the high-profile insider trading trial of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta enters its third week, the Indian-American's prominent friends feel he has been portrayed in an "unfair and one-sided" manner and his philanthropic work in India should not be forgotten.
63-year-old Gupta's trial, which began in Manhattan federal court on May 21, will resume on Monday after a weekend break with his protege and former McKinsey executive Anil Kumar returning to the witness stand to testify against him.
Last week, Kumar had told jurors he had worked closely with Gupta in 1997 to set up the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad.
Gupta, in March last year, had resigned as chairman of ISB's executive board after the Securities and Exchange Commission initiated an administrative action against him on insider trading charges.
As Gupta fights the charges of securities fraud in a closely watched trial, ISB Dean Ajit Rangnekar has voiced support for the prestigious school's co-founder saying it has been "very difficult" for those who have known Gupta to "understand" and come to terms with the charges and allegations against him.
Rangnekar's name is among a list of 20 witnesses, who could testify for him in the trial, submitted in court by Gupta's defence team.
"Here is a man who has done incredibly amazing things for India, completely selflessly without wanting anything for it when he could have spent that same time making a lot of money for himself," Rangnekar said.
The ISB dean said several of Gupta's friends feel that a "very one-sided and unfair depiction" of him has been made in the case so far.
"No due recognition has been made for the immense good he has done in India," he said adding that the work Gupta has done in fields of education, health and urbanisation should also be recognised and given equal prominence just as the charges against him have been highlighted.
"A person should be presumed innocent till proven guilty but Gupta's achievements are real achievements," Rangnekar, currently on a visit to the city, said.
Rangnekar said Gupta's supporters would have to wait for the verdict by the jury and the judge but they would always remain "extremely grateful" to him for the "wonderful" work he has done.
"We are immensely proud and grateful to him for everything he has done," Rangnekar said.
Gupta has denied passing any confidential company information
he received in his capacity as board member of Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble to hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, who is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence after being convicted of insider trading charges last year.