The prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV) was investigated in 129 patients with chronic liver disease (85 with chronic active hepatitis and 44 with cirrhosis) and 53 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. The commercially available second generation anti-HCV enzyme immunoassay kit was used. Antibodies to hepatitis C virus were detected in 16.2% of the patients with chronic liver disease and in 15.1% with hepatocellular carcinoma. Of the HCV positive patients in all groups 51.7% were positive for hepatitis B virus (HBV) markers indicating present or past infection. Prevalence of HBV markers in all the three groups (CAH, cirrhosis and HCC) was higher as compared with anti-HCV prevalence. These results suggest that HCV infection may not be a major cause of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma in India and indicate the presence of other aetiological agents.