Elucidation of the genetic diversity and relatedness of the subpopulations of India may provide a unique resource for future analysis of genetic association of several critical community-specific complex diseases.We performed a comprehensive exploration of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the gene DNA ligase 1 (LIG1) among a multiethnic panel of Indian subpopulations representative of the ethnic, linguistic and geographical diversity of India using a two-stage design involving DNA resequencing-based SNP discovery followed by SNP validation using sequenom-based genotyping. Thirty SNPs were identified in LIG1 gene using DNA resequencing including three promoter SNPs and one coding SNP. Following SNP validation, the SNPs rs20580/C19008A and rs3730862/C8804T were found to have the most widespread prevalence with noticeable variations in minor allele frequencies both between the Indian subpopulation groups and also from those reported on other major world populations. Subsequently, SNPs found in Indian subpopulations were analysed using bioinformatics-based approaches and compared with SNP data available on major world populations. Further, we also performed genotype–phenotype association analysis of LIG1 SNPs with publicly available data on LIG1 mRNA expression in HapMap samples. Results showed polymorphisms in LIG1 affect its expression and may therefore change its function. Our results stress upon the uniqueness of the Indian population with respect to the worldwide scenario and suggest that any epidemiological study undertaken on the global population should take this distinctiveness in consideration and avoid making generalized conclusions.