U.S. regulator SEC has asked an appeals court to affirm a district court’s decision that the India-born former Goldman Sachs director, Rajat Gupta, pay a $13.9-million penalty and be banned for life from serving as director of a public corporation.

The federal regulator has filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, saying the district court acted well within its discretion by permanently barring Mr. Gupta from associating with brokers, dealers, and investment advisors, permanently enjoining him from future violations of the securities laws and permanently barring him from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

Mr. Gupta, 65, has been granted time till April 7 to file his reply to the SEC brief.

Mr. Gupta last year asked the appeals court to overturn the district court’s decision, asking him to pay the $13.9-million penalty in the civil insider trading case filed against him by the SEC. His lawyers argued that the district court “abused” its discretion in imposing the statutory maximum civil penalty of $13.9 million, three times the $4.6 million in gains made by hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam who traded on tips Mr. Gupta allegedly passed on to him.

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