YLES organisers suspended over registering 200 extra students without notifying administration and keeping the moneyLAHORE – Five students of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) have been suspended and fined over the alleged embezzlement of Rs 1 million during the recently organised Young Leaders Entrepreneur Summit (YLES) 2011. The students, whose names we have chosen to withhold, violated the rules by registering 200 extra students, on the pretext that they were ‘breaking even’ and needed more money to run the event. Sources revealed the fraud was disclosed two weeks ago. Subsequently, the LUMS disciplinary committee took action by suspending the steering committee members of the LUMS Entrepreneur Society (LES) and two executive council members. One student has been suspended for 3 semesters, while the other four for two semesters respectively. The students have also been fined Rs 1.5 lakh each and must offer 50 hours of community service. YLES organisers, we learnt, led the administration astray by submitting an audit of inviting 600 students to the event, whereas a total of 800 students were invited. Some sources alleged that the excess money (approximately Rs 3,000 per candidate) was kept in a separate bank account and was later recovered from the hostel room of one of those accused in the fraud. Sources also confirmed that the accused students admitted to the allegations levied against them. Sources disclosed the accused students have filed an appeal with the Disciplinary Appeals Committee calling for a review of punishments accorded. Response: Members of the LUMS faculty and student body are divided over the matter with some considering the disciplinary action excessive while others considered it too lenient. Speaking to Pakistan Today, several students asking not to be named demanded that those involved should be expelled from the varsity and their degrees should be cancelled as they had earned a bad name for the entire LUMS community. They condemned the members of the disciplinary committee who rewarded a meager punishment to students involved in the alleged fraud. Similarly, a LUMS official, asking not to be named, told Pakistan Today that the students were from influential backgrounds and had approached the LUMS administration which is why they were not expelled. Ali, a LUMS student, said, “These students should be expelled, our parents want to know what really happened and why isn’t anything being done about it.” He said the credibility and role of societies like LES which invite school children from all over the country every year had been put into question. He said that administration wanted to bury the issue but “students want proper punishments to be handed to those involved.” A female student, expressing shock, said that they were unable to understand how the fraud had occurred since the students involved were ‘batch-toppers.’ Other students defended those accused and termed incident as misunderstanding. An accused student claimed no disciplinary action had been taken against him and the only contention he had with administration was over an alleged ‘mismanagement’ in the event. While a second accused denied the allegations and denied involvement in the said incident. A LUMS Public Relation’s department official, asking not to be named, said that administration shall not comment on the issue. However, he confirmed the involvement of students in the embezzlement.