Raj Kumar Saxena (Raj Kapoor) comes to Bombay armed with honesty, integrity and his degree, along with a whole lot of dreams and aspirations of making it in this city of opportunities. Raj is to discover that his values and beliefs have no worth in a city like Bombay where the social system allows profiteers, black-marketers and other species of "420s" to make fortunes. In the course of drifting from one job to another Raj meets the beautiful Vidya (Nargis). Though very poor herself, this schoolteacher shares Raj's philosophy on life and they start to share their dreams. But Raj soon learns that their dreams are impossible to achieve honestly - and so, economic need and bitter experience drive this simple and honest man to dishonesty and evil. Shree 420 tells the story of Raj's perilous journey into the high flying society, where no price is too much to pay for success. A journey into a life of high stake gambling and drinking, a life which takes him further and further from his values, beliefs and Vidya.