Germline mutations of RET gene are pathognomonic of multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN; MEN 2A/MEN 2B) and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma (FMTC), constituting 25% of medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTCs). We investigated RET gene mutations and polymorphisms at exons 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16 in 140 samples, comprising 51 clinically diagnosed MTC patients, 39 family members of patients and 50 normal individuals. The method of choice was PCR and direct nucleotide sequencing of the PCR products. RET gene mutations were detected in 15 (29.4%) patients, with MEN 2A/FMTC in 13 patients and MEN 2B in 2 patients. Further, 39 family members of seven index cases were analysed, wherein four of the seven index cases showed identical mutations, in 13 of 25 family members. We also examined single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in RET gene exons in 101 unrelated samples. Significant differences in the allelic frequencies of SNPs at codons 691, 769, 836 and 904 between patient and control groups were not observed. However, SNP frequencies were significantly different in the Indian group as compared with other European groups. We identified two novel, rare and unique SNPs separately in single patients. Our study demonstrated presence of MEN 2A/MEN 2B/FMTC-associated mutations in accordance with the reported literature. Thus, RET gene mutations in exons 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16 constitute a rapid test to confirm diagnosis and assess risk of the disease in familial MEN 2A/MEN 2B/FMTC.