A Delhi court on Tuesday sentenced the main accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, Brajesh Thakur, to life in prison, PTI reported. Nineteen people including Thakur were convicted in the case last month. One of the accused was acquitted.

Thakur used to run the shelter home in Bihar where at least 34 inmates were allegedly drugged and raped, according to law enforcement agencies. In its chargesheet filed in December 2018, the Central Bureau of Investigation had alleged that Thakur had coerced girls to dance to vulgar songs and have sexual intercourse with guests.

Thakur was convicted for aggravated sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and rape under the Indian Penal Code.

Before its verdict had come out, the court had dismissed a plea by Thakur where he claimed testimonies of witnesses in the case were not reliable.

The CBI had taken over the investigation in 2018 following a Supreme Court directive. In June last year, the Supreme Court gave the CBI three months to complete the investigation, including suspected murders, in the case. It had also asked the agency to widen its scope to include “outsiders” involved in the crime and to investigate the allegations of video recordings of the alleged assault under the Information Technology Act.

The alleged sexual exploitation came to light in April 2018 after Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted an audit report of 110 shelter homes in the state. The audit had been ordered by the state government, which filed a first information report against 11 people, including Thakur, on May 31, 2018.