Chandigarh, Jan 12 (PTI) The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has booked a forest conservator for allegedly submitting a fake appreciation letter to the state government for removal of adverse remarks in his annual confidential report (ACR).

A case has been filed against Indian Forest Service officer Harsh Kumar, posted at Hoshiarpur, and a private person Ajay Palta, director of a Jalandhar-based firm, under relevant sections, including 420 (cheating), of the Indian Penal Code, an official release said.

Chief Forest Conservator (CFO) Kuldeep Kumar Lomis had written some adverse comments in Harsh’s ACR for the year 2014-15.

Harsh had attached a copy of the letter, apparently issued by Ashok Kumar, in-charge of Genetic and Tree Production Department, Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun, with a written request to the state forest minister to omit the negative notes in the report.

During investigation, it was found that the letter dated May 4, 2015, had not been issued by Ashok Kumar.

The CFO wrote to the FRI to verify its authentication and the institute denied issuing and dispatching the letter.

Vigilance bureau sleuths found that the signature on the letter was not that of Ashok Kumar, as claimed by Harsh Kumar.

On the basis of the investigation, the vigilance bureau concluded that Harsh Kumar, in connivance with his accomplices Palta and Vijay Kumar, now deceased, arranged the forged document, the release said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.