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A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday ordered authorities to gather evidence by Feb 15 in the ongoing case of alleged torture of a minor domestic worker, Tayyaba, in Islamabad.

The bench rejected an out-of-court settlement between the two accused ─ Tayyaba's employers who allegedly tortured her ─ and her parents, saying that as the case is ongoing, the agreement "lacks merit".

The case of 10-year-old Tayyaba, a domestic worker at the home of former additional district and sessions judge Raja Khurram Ali and his wife Maheen, first came to light after photos of the child depicting alleged torture by her employers began circulating on social media.

She was rescued from their residence with visible wounds on Dec 28, 2016 and a first information report was filed against her employers a day later.

Ali reached a compromise with Tayyaba's parents on Jan 2, 2017, and a day later the child was handed over to her parents. On Jan 4, however, the apex court took suo motu notice of the matter and directed police to investigate all aspects of the case.

On Monday, the CJP had expressed anger at the delay in the proceedings of the case and had issued a notice to the advocate general Punjab.