Mohini, a talented singer and dancer, is being exploited by her alcoholic father Shyamlal for money. Shyamlal is deep in debt to the gangster Lotia Pathan and refuses to pay him back. Pathan sees no other choice but to kidnap Mohini during one of her performances. Concerned about Mohini, her friend Jyoti informs her brother, the exiled fugitive Mahesh aka Munna of her disappearance. Inspector Gagan Singh has recently been transferred to Mumbai and is shocked when he finds out that Munna has returned to the city. He remembers Munna as a courageous and idealistic young man and cannot imagine what made him become a criminal. Munna arrives in the city and enlists the help of his old friends Babban and others to hunt down Lotia Pathan. On the way, he is stopped by Inspector Gagan who demands to know Munna’s history.
In an extensive flashback we are told of the tragic circumstances which led to Munna’s transformation. On a fateful day Munna’s parents were gunned down by a bank robber Chhote Khan. Munna and Inspector Gagan’s joint efforts led to Chhote Khan being caught. Although shattered by his parent’s deaths, Munna did not give up on his dreams of becoming a Navy officer. While studying in college he met Mohini and the two fell passionately in love. Shyamlal resented their intimacy, feeling his grip on Mohini slipping. He sought the help of Lotia Pathan, who incidentally turned out to be Chhote Khan’s elder brother. Chhote Khan, once released from jail, attempted to kidnap and rape Munna’s sister Jyoti. Munna arrived to rescue her, and ended up killing Chhote Khan in the ensuing altercation. He was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment as a result. Once released, Munna set out on a search for Mohini. But by this time, Shyamlal had hidden Mohini away, and was working in cahoots with a corrupt police officer to protect his interests. Munna was framed by this inspector and consequently exiled.
Upon learning this story, Inspector Gagan lets Munna go on his mission to free Mohini. Munna liberates Mohini from Lotia Pathan’s grasp and destroys his illicit businesses in the process. But the jaded Munna rejects Mohini’s love, knowing he can never give her a luxurious life. Inspector Gagan clears Munna’s name by exposing the corrupt police officer. Munna plans to leave the city to start a new life, but Mohini comes to realise that Munna was only pretending to not love her. She escapes from her father and joins him. Lotia Pathan makes a last ditch attempt to kill Munna but is dispatched by Munna and Inspector Gagan.
The film was a commercial success and the hit song Ek Do Teen catapulted Madhuri Dixit to stardom.