Thiruvananthapuram: After a ban placed on its broadcast was revoked, Malayalam news channel Asianet News, on Saturday said that it was "reassuring" to note that Centre had admitted that it was a mistake.

The channel also pledged to its viewers and the government that it would carry out its responsibilities most fairly accurately, truthfully and also in full accordance with the laws of the land.
The channel issued a statement after it, along with MediaOne, was banned for 48 hours from the evening of March 6 by the Information and Broadcasting ministry.

The ban was subsequently lifted after Union I&B minister Prakash Javadekar intervened in the matter.

"It is reassuring that Union minister Prakash Javadekar has admitted that ban was a mistake and would take appropriate steps if there was wrongdoing on part of the ministry," the statement by the news channel said.

"Our democracy ensures every entity in India including media a due process of law before guilt or innocence is pronounced. Regrettably, we were not afforded this opportunity in the decision by the I&B Ministry to ban us for 48 hours. Bans without due process violate the principle of natural justice and reinforce a perception of coercion by the regulator," the statement said.

Asserting the importance of press freedom, Javadekar today said that two Kerala-based channels that were banned for 48 hours have been restored.

"Two Kerala channels were banned for 48 hours, we found out what actually happened and immediately restored the channels. Our basic thought process is that press freedom is absolutely essential for a democratic setup," Javadekar told reporters in Pune.

Javadekar stated that Asianet News was on air on Friday night whereas MediaOne was restored on Saturday morning.

The ministry on Friday had suspended the broadcast of the two channels in an order which stated: "While reporting such a critical incident, the channels should have taken utmost care and should have reported it in a balanced way. Such reporting could enhance the communal disharmony across the country when the situation is highly volatile”.