The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) quest to get the Prime Minister disqualified suffered yet another setback – this time quite summarily. The Supreme Court office on Tuesday handed the petition back to the party’s Advocate-on-Record Chaudhry Akhtar Ali, a day after it was filed by senior counsel Naeem Bokhari, saying that prima facie the petition seemed “frivolous”. With the registrar’s office also returning a similar petition by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on similar grounds, it seems the Supreme Court is not interested in taking the path to topple the Nawaz government.

Tenacious as ever, PTI is not dismayed. In the words of senior PTI leader Ishaq Khakwani, “all these questions ought to have been decided by the court and not the registrar’s office” – hence their legal team is reanalysing the situation and preparing another petition, arguing that the registrar’s office has acted in ‘bad faith’.

The party has a point here; on the face of it, there does seem to be a cause for action against the Prime Minister and his family after the revelations of the Pamama Papers – even the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) admitted as much when they were busy debating the ill-fated Terms of Reference (TOR) for a judicial examination.

But at the same time it must be understood that without a sustained investigation of the facts and evidence, asking the apex court to disqualify the sitting Prime Minister was always a long shot. Alternative legal recourses have not been exhausted, the claims relate to an uncertain scandal, and being an appellate court the Supreme Court could not have been expected to rule on this petition – and PTI knew this. Going to the court in spite of this knowledge is what has made their petition “frivolous”.

Furthermore, the apex court has been adamant not to get drawn into this quagmire; having already refused the government’s request to form a judicial commission.

However, it is unlikely these facts will deter Imran Khan and company. Such actions may not bring results, but they carry a theatric value and will bring them news coverage. The issue of Panama Papers and off-shore companies is kept alive and in the public’s conscience when the rest of the political setup seems to have forgotten about it.

Perhaps this was the ultimate goal behind the Supreme Court petition – free publicity. Considering the range of options available to PTI to push this matter, this seems the least destructive. There may not be any result to this, but it can be reasonably expected that PTI will continue pushing the courts, and raking in the headlines.