462. Trustee as officer of the court; right to apply for directions.

As an officer of the court, the trustee must act as is just and right, and the court will not allow him to take advantage of a mistake. This principle is commonly known as 'the rule in Ex parte James'1, and the extent of its operation is defined only by the case law2. However, the rule, which is exercised as a discretionary power of the court, appears to have been exercised only in cases where there has been some form of enrichment of the assets of a bankrupt's estate or that of an insolvent company at the expense of