The film tells the story of an honest journalist Vikas Pande (Shashi Kapoor) from Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh who moves to Delhi to run a newspaper, and soon uncovers a political assassination, and in the process, falls prey to a corrupt system and the nexus between politicians and media barons. The film starts with assassination of a local MLA Bhaleram in circuit house of Ghazipur. The guard of the circuit house goes missing and the entry Vikas Pande is an upright and fearless executive editor of New Delhi Times newspaper and in a process of exposing a scandal of illegal hooch that killed 100s of people. Meanwhile there is a power struggle going on between incumbent chief minister Chaturvedi and ambitious MLA Ajay Singh Om Puri for the post of chief minister.
Ajay Singh is dangerous man and linked with all types of illegal activities likes drug trafficking, smuggling, extortion, looting, etc. His business is managed by trusted lieutenant Iqbal. Iqbal is arrested in the murder case of Bhaleram. He is the cause to frequent riots that are taking place in Ghazipur. Vikas goes to Ghazipur to cover the riots and meets locals. Here he finds overwhelming evidences which suggests that Ajay Singh is somehow linked with the murder.
On the other hand Vikas's wife who is a lawyer is approached by an old man whose daughter is missing from her in-laws place, which they claim had gone mad. She is fighting the case.
In a tensed hearing at the court Iqbal states that he is innocent and Ajay Singh has committed the crime. This becomes the front page news of New Delhi Times. Ajay Singh is very anxious and summons Vikas. Vikas confronts him directly and accuses him of the murder. In fit of rage he reveals that he had bribed Bhaleram and his 13 MLAs and his road to chief minister's chair was almost clear. Hence he had no motive to kill him. Ajay Singh is constantly putting the CM under pressure, yet the CM miraculously escapes every trap. Also Vikas is threatened by goons to stop pursuing the murder case, which motivates him further.
He collates all the facts and publishes an article which links Ajay Singh with the murder, but has no concrete evidence. Although reluctant to publish the article, his bosses finally concede to his demands. One fine day the old man who had earlier approached Vikas's wife for missing daughter, comes to thank her for her efforts. It is revealed that his daughter is found at a mental asylum, where the staff and police officials were bribed to declare her mentally unfit. Also the old man further reveal that the guard of the circuit house is admitted in the asylum. Vikas immediately meets the guard. The guard is an old man who tells him that he is not mentally ill and reveals all the happenings of that day. On the fateful day, his son visits him who is in fact a mole of Trivedi. The deal does take place with Ajay Singh and once they leave, Bhaleram is murdered by goons of Trivedi.
Vikas realizes that all the evidences were planted by Trivedi to implicate Ajay Singh and keep him under control. He is sad that he has been used by Trivedi, but then his friend Anwar consoles him saying that the person whom he has exposed deserve at least what he has done.