Renowned judge Raghunath (Prithviraj Kapoor) sentences an innocent man on the conviction that a criminal's son would end up as a criminal. His blind belief is put to test when he is estranged from his wife and son Raj (Raj Kapoor) who in turn grows up to become a petty thief.
The only bright spot in Raj's deprived childhood was his school friend Rita who he meets once again many years later. Rita (Nargis) is now a young lawyer and the ward of Judge Raghunath. The childhood friendship blossoms into love.
Raghunath, who is suspicious of the young man finds his suspicions well founded when Raj steals a necklace from him to gift to Rita on her birthday.
Raj's attempts to reform and win back Rita's trust are thwarted by society and he finally ends up in court on the charge of attempting to murder Judge Raghunath. Rita defends him and Raghunath finds himself forced to question his own beliefs when he discovers that the accused criminal is his 'own son'.