Govt took no step to prevent 2G scam: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today expressed its anguish that the stand of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh favouring "auctioning" of 2G spectrum was ignored and no timely action was taken to prevent the scam.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and H L Dattu criticised the government for its handling of the situation ahead of 2G spectrum allocation in which the policy of "auction" was given a go bye and telecom ministry under A Raja adopted the first-come-first served policy. The Bench said even when the then Telecom Minister did not agree with the Prime Minister for auctioning the "scarce" spectrum and went ahead with issuing Letters of Intent (LoIS), no timely action was taken to prevent the situation which has arisen today and the matter reached the courts.

The bench was hearing the bail pleas of jailed Managing Director of Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd Sanjay Chandra and Swan Telecom`s Director Vinod Goenka in the case. "You are expressing apprehension that the accused may tamper with the evidence and affect the CBI case if granted bail. The charge sheet contains a date, November 2, 2007 which is a crucial date. Everybody knows about that date and you (CBI) also know.

"The head of the Government writes a letter that spectrum is scarce commodity and it should be auction. The Minister (then telecom minister A Raja) did not agree. The Finance Department also objected. Do you think the government was not aware of what was going on," the bench said while Raval was opposing the bail pleas of the accused.