After a photo of Merin Joseph, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer in the Kerala cadre, with Malayalam star Nivin Pauly went viral on social media, the Kerala home ministry has reportedly sought an explanation.

The additional chief secretary (home and vigilance), Nalini Netto, has reportedly asked for a report on the matter from ADGP TP Senkumar.

Merin, who is now serving as the assistant superintendent of police under training in Ernakulam rural police district, made headlines after she posted a photo of hers with the "Premam" hero on her Facebook page on 12 July.

The photo was taken by MLA Hibi Eden during a function at St Teresas College, Kochi to felicitate the students who had secured top positions in SSLC and plus two examinations.

With Nivin Pauly.. The current sensation in Kerala!!

Posted by Merin Joseph on Saturday, 11 July 2015

The IPS officer was criticised for posting the photo online while attending the function. A video, which showed the officer uploading the image on Facebook, has also been doing the rounds on social media.

Merin Joseph IPS photos

However, after remaining silent for four days, Merin finally reacted on the matter by clarifying that she posed with Nivin during a break and not while the function was in progress.

Merin also defended by stating that she did not violate any protocol as she was not on duty and was just a guest at the event.

"For those who think that I was neglecting some important duty or doing something unbecoming, I merely ask which law states that one can't upload a photo when idly passing time?? I didn't disrupt the arrangements or cause any inconvenience except perhaps catch the attention of some reporter who didn't have any worthwhile work. The media channels which pander to such cheapness and voyeurism, have my pity. I pray such desperate means don't become the only means for them to earn their livelihood," Merin posted on her Facebook page.

Why didn't I react so far to the so-called controversy caused over my photo with Mr. Nivin Pauly at the MLA function in...

Posted by Merin Joseph on Thursday, 16 July 2015

Merin became an Internet sensation in September 2014 for being attractive while she was an IPS trainee.