A big businessman is shot dead in mysterius circumstances and even after rigorus investigation police fails to find a clue to the murderer. Only three people knew, who has committed the murder ? Ratan Seth (Amrish Puri) who with devilish cleverness arranged the whole plot to get rid of his business partner and Rahim (Dharmender) who fired the fatal shots to save his sister Reshma (Madhuri Dixit) from being mole-sted by the leacherous hands of the businessman for whom Ratan Seth had supplied the girl of course.
So, the advantage of the whole act goes to Ratan Seth, who has a grateful! Rahim under his thumb now and gets him to do the work of a drugs carrier and distributor while driving a taxi in the city.
On one of his rounds, Rahim meets Ram (Jitender) who has come to the city in search of a job from Allahabad. Rahim likes Ram who is from his home town and helps him in regaining his stolen luggage from a gang of thieves and finding Ram penniless, takes him home in the Basti, where he lives alone, away from his mother and sister to keep them away from his sordid crime life.
Characters of all cast and creed live in the Basti, drunks, pick-pockets, gamblers, hard working people and of-course Rosy (Jaya Pradha) gay and amiable who runs a dhaba and is madly in love with Rahim.
Rahim manages to procure a driving licence for the jobless Ram and gets him a taxi to drive around till he gets a better job. Ram's first customer is Reshma who studies in a college. She is unable to pay the fare as she has forgotten to bring her purse. This incident leads to more meetings with their emotions finally blossoming forth into love.
Rahim and Ram's friendship gains solid ground and with Rosy and other basti people around, they are like a family, sharing happiness as well as sorrow... tills Ram brings the news that he has got a good job and will be moving out of the Basti. Rahim is heart broken at this calamity but Ram leaves assuring him of his friendship and promising to see him often.
Rahim with a sad mind moves to a petrol pump to fill up the tank and while giving money to the dealer finds that he has Ram's purse in his hand. He opens it and is shocked to know that Ram is a high police officer and had been investigating the murder which Rahim had committed. On the other side Ram in his police office opens Rahim's purse and finds the missing clue to the murder of the businessman and knows that Rahim is the sought after killer.
There is agreat wall between the two friends now can it be removed, can they become one again or will they be the worst enemies trying to eliminate each other?
What about Reshma and her love for Ram, who is bent upon sending her brother to jail... can their love survive ? And Rosy, will her tears bring back the lost Rahim to her ? and last of all what about Ratan Seth whose drug empire start crumbling as the disclosure of Rahim as the killer, whom will he destroy first ?
For answers see 'Paapi Devata'...........
(From the official press booklet)