Whenever a murder or bank robbery took place in Kerala during the 60s and 70s, there used to be strong demand from politicians cutting across the party lines to entrust the probe to Padikkal. It was said that Achutha Menon and K Karunakaran, while they were the chief minister and home minister respectively, had given Padikkal a blank cheque for finishing off the Naxalite movement in the state. Padikkal recruited many youngsters from the campuses in Kerala, trained them and made them infiltrate the Naxalite movements.. Padikkal was one of the few officers in the Kerala cadre who was sent for training at Scotland Yard, the premiere detective agency in United Kingdom. Jayaram Padikkal was the chief (DIG) of the Crime Branch in Kerala Police during the time of the Naxalite movement, and during the Indira Gandhi imposed national emergency. The Naxalites advocated violence against the State. Padikkal was instrumental in curbing the Naxalite Movement in the state.Padikkal solved a string of high profile murder cases including the Corporation case and the Rajini Case where a little girl was murdered and her body hidden in a well.
Padickal courted conrtroversy during the emergency days.He was in charge of the special cell that dealt with naxalites and other anti-emergency groups. The gruesome details of the police state of those days was brought out in the Rajan case. Padikkal's role in this and several other cases of violation of human rights has been recounted in the biographies of several naxalite leaders like K Venu and in the memoir, 'With malice against none', written by Rajan's father . Padikkal also came under the cloud for his association with the then home minister K Karunakaran. In the book 'Jayaram Padikkal's Crime Diary', the biography of Mr.Padikkal, there is an account of how Padikkal, then a DSP, ransacked Nawab Rajendran's office and destroyed some incriminating documents which would have framed Karunakaran in a corruption case. Nawab Rajendran's biography claims that Padikkal repented his role in all this.
Due to lack of evidence the charges against Padikkal could not be proven, and he was acquitted. Padikkal later rose up the ranks to become the Director General of Police (DGP), the highest rank in the force. He held this appointment from 1993 to 1994, and subsequently retired from service. Jayaram Padikkal died in the year 1997.